Podcast: Chatham mum avoids jail for hiding a sawn-off shotgun after case takes eight years to get to court

A Chatham woman who hid a sawn-off shotgun in her garden has avoided being sent to prison – after waiting eight years for the case to come to court.

Police were called to 47-year-old Wendy Allen’s home on Weeds Wood Road in April 2016 after an anonymous tip-off.

Also in today’s podcast, figures seen by the KentOnline podcast show a 45% rise in drug offences in Kent over the last four years.

Around 3,600 were were recorded in the county in 2019 – that went up to more than 5,200 in 2022. Reporter Louis Walker speaks to a former addict who says cocaine is a particular problem in the county.

With less than two weeks until the General Election, a leading Kent doctor is urging whoever forms the next government to have a cross-party long term plan for the NHS.

Hear from Medway GP Dr Julian Spinks.

In further health news, we’re being urged to look out for vulnerable people as a heat health alert comes into force in Kent.

Summer’s finally arrived with temperatures hitting up to 27c over the next few days.

A disused train carriage has had an amazing transformation into a café at a special needs school in Maidstone.

The project at Five Acre Wood will also see pupils trained in hospitality skills – reporter Cara Simmonds has been along to have a look around.

You can also hear today from a Sheppey man who’s through to the final of Mr Gay Great Britain and is hoping to use the platform to raise awareness.

Jordan Chan from Halfway already volunteers with Swale Pride, but says he entered the national competition to drive more positive change in the community.

And finally, the owner of a popular corner shop plans to keep working ‘for as long as her body allows’ as she celebrates 40 years in business.

Bella Patel took over Savers Newsagents in Faversham Road, Kennington, with her late husband John in June 1984.