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AWARDS: Officers honoured for bravery following West Malling murder

Wednesday 26th February 2020

A NUMBER of police officers have been commended for their bravery following the murder of a West Malling woman.

The Chief Constable gave medals to the officers who investigated an arson in which 65-year-old Jacqueline Allen was killed by her son-in-law Simon Childs (52).

The deliberate fire was started by Childs at around 9pm on November 17, 2018 in Spitfire Road.

Another person was also in the property and managed to escape the blaze by jumping from a first-floor window.

Despite protesting his innocence, he was unanimously convicted following a three-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court on May 24, 2019 and was sentenced to a minimum of 32 years’ imprisonment.

All of those commended for their efforts played a vital role in securing the scene, gathering evidence and helping to put forward a thorough and compelling case to be presented in court.

PC Hayley Keen, PC Christopher Lane, Sergeant Martin Kennet, DC Michelle James, DC Bradley Shingles, DC Clare Lockwood and Detective Sergeant Murray Tester were all recognised for their professionalism.

Chief Constable Alan Pugshley said: “We have an incredible team here at Kent Police, full of officers and staff who go the extra mile when putting victims at the heart of what they do, and though the work brings many challenges it is also extremely rewarding.

“Being able to present these awards for acts of unbelievable bravery and courage is one of the best parts of my job and right now there has never been a better time to join the Kent Police family as we are recruiting new officers and staff into a variety of roles, all with the aim of providing a first class service to the people of Kent.”