KM Group - Kentish Gazette

Kentish Gazette

When a man died after being found seriously injured in a Canterbury school field, we didn’t think it would take two years of relentless investigation to discover his identity. But those were the lengths we went to in order to ensure he didn’t become just a faceless statistic.

Police had refused to name him and then oversaw a catalogue of errors which would result in his inquest being held in the absence of any media. However, our forensic probing uncovered a name, and even led to us tracing his family to Lithuania. They told us they could not understand how no one had been held responsible for his death. Despite still searching for justice, they took great comfort in knowing the story of Eduardas Zaicas had finally been told. This is an example of how our team at the Kentish Gazette goes the extra mile every week to provide the high-quality, in-depth journalism so valued by our readers. Rather than just report on events, we try to effect positive change. Our readers were horrified when German student Daniel Ezzedine was left brain-damaged after he was attacked by a gang on a visit to Canterbury. We set up a fundraiser and soon more than £15,000 had been donated to help pay for intensive therapy for Daniel. His brother told the Gazette: “Thanks to your help we have the possibility to rent a small gym a few times a week, where Daniel can improve and strengthen his skills.” Four months after our appeal we brought our readers the news that Daniel had been able to take his first steps since the attack. Rather than just report statistics, we always try to tell the human stories behind the facts and figures. We have shone a light on NHS pressures, revealing that local ambulance response times were the worst on record. The human impact was laid bare in an interview with a widow who believed her husband would still be alive if paramedics had reached him sooner. We have also highlighted the growing issue of mental illness in the young through our End the Stigma campaign. Three mums who have lost children to suicide spoke to us in the hope that by telling their stories other parents would feel empowered to have potentially life-saving conversations. The story encouraged another mum who had lost a son to suicide to take up a voluntary role with a charity. We take pride in our undercover investigations. When lockdown forced local B&Bs to shut down, we revealed how Airbnb owners were breaching strict Covid restrictions by continuing to rent out their properties for illegal breaks. We also uncovered a black market in illegal vapes blighting Canterbury city centre, putting untested and unregulated products onto our streets. Our findings from both investigations were passed to the relevant authorities. Collectively - and despite the impact of Covid - our efforts helped us come tantalisingly close to year-on-year growth in 2021, with our sales performance (-3%) the best of any newspaper in Kent.