Hartley and District News 2005

Previous Year's News

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Index 2005
Animal welfare
10/3, 30/6, 25/8
Ash Road 17/6,12/7,15/9, 9/10, 10/11
Axton Chase School
24/2, 25/8
Banckside 22/12
Billings Hill Shaw
Caxton Close
Chapelwood 29/9
Charity Fundraising
24/2, 24/3, 11/8, 15/12
Cherry Trees 29/9
Church Road 6/10
Churches (RC) 2/6
Council Tax
28/4, 21/7, 29/9
13/1, 3/3, 24/3, 2/6, 29/9, 29/12
19/4, 6/5, 12/5
31/3, 8/7, 29/9
10/3 , 30/6 , 14/7
 - CE Primary School 30/6, 27/10
 - Crime
 - Eureka Sun Club 8/12
 - Horton Wood 17/11
Fitness and Fun Club 17/11
Gorsewood Road 28/7
Hartley Primary School 13/10, 3/11
Health 1/12
Horse Riding 29/9
House Prices 16/6
Longfield 30/6
 - Chalk Bank
 - Co-op 24/11
 - Exquisite Beauty Salon 17/11
 - Langafel school 13/10, 20/10, 3/11, 15/12, 22/12
 - Molly's Preschool
 - Parking 7/7
 - Police
 - W Kent Hospital School 6/10, 16/11
Manor Drive
21/4, 3/11
Milestone School 10/11
Motorbikes 26/5
National Lottery 3/11
New Ash Green
 - Architectural Icon nomination 15/10
 - Ayelands
 - Crime 3/11
 - Criticism
 - Farm Holt 3/11
 - Fundraising
10/2, 15/9, 20/10
 - Knights Croft 13/10
 - Primary School 3/11
 - Rugby
14/4, 26/5, 15/9
 - Sunday Market
Our Lady of Hartley School 3/11
Parish Council 12/9, 13/10
Perfect 10 Nail Salon 29/9
Pitfield 29/12
Post Office 8/12
21/4, 15/9, 22/9
Rectory Meadow 24/11
Railways 2/6, 27/10, 26/12
Rotary Club
Rubbish Collection 4/8
Schools 21/7, 4/8
Social Club 10/11
Telephone Box 23/7
Trading Standards 8/12
Tutton, Audrey 8/12
Water 4/8
Wellfield 4/8
Wildlife 13/10
Winter Fuel Payments 10/2
Woodland Avenue 16/7
Youth 16/6

29 December 2005
Pet cat wounded by pellets from air gun
(Dartford Messenger, p 5) Star the cat from Pitfield wounded after being shot by airgun.  Owners said they had reported someone shooting an airgun to the police a few weeks previously.

26 December 2005
Boxing Day trains return to Longfield
(South Eastern Trains press release) After very many years, Boxing Day trains return to Longfield, running to London every hour from 9.07 to 20.07 and returning from Victoria at every hour from 9.55 to 20.55.

22 December 2005
Couple enjoyed weekend that was pure gold
(Dartford Messenger, p 18) Picture of golden wedding couple from Banckside.

Santa's early call on some lucky pupils
(Dartford Messenger, p 5) Santa visits Langafel School (picture).

15 December 2005
Smoke billows over from oil depot inferno
(Dartford Messenger, p 1) Picture of black cloud that went over this area the previous Sunday from the Buncefield fire.

Heartfelt thanks
(Dartford Messenger, p 23) Hart Magazine donates £650 to Asian Earthquake Appeal.

Langafel School
(Dartford Messenger, p 6) Picture feature on school's nativity play.

8 December 2005
Tributes to beloved dance teacher, 77
(Dartford Times, p9) Obituary and picture of dance teacher Audrey Tutton, whose school used to do shows for the former Hartley Fete Week.

Pool bid sunk
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Sevenoaks Council turn down plans for swimming pool at Eureka Sun Club, Fawkham.

Warning - don't dial 090
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Trading Standards warn of what they believe to be scam in the Longfield and Hartley DA3 postcode area.  People have been receiving cards claiming that they have a parcel to be collected in Dartford, and telling them to call a £1.50 a minute number.

Letters service is first past the winning post
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Figures for July-September 2005 show DA postcode the best for next day deliveries of first class post (97.1%)

1 December 2005
War Hero in flu jab crisis

(Dartford Times, p1) 72 year old Wellfield man (pictured) unable to get flu jab.  Area health trust have ordered more but no delivery date given to them.

Pack of lies
(Dartford Messenger, p31) Good review of Hartley Players' latest production, with especial praise for the female lead.

24 November 2005
Sewage Leak Closes Footpath
Kent County Council close footpath across Rectory Meadow for a maximum of 3 weeks due to defective sewage pipe (see photo)

You're welcome
(Dartford Messenger, p25) Longfield Co-op store reopens after £150,000 refit.

17 November 2005
It's fun being fit with this village club
(Dartford Messenger, p27) Feature and picture on the Hartley Fitness and Fun Club, which meets on Tuesday mornings in the WI hall.

Beautiful success
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Exquisite Beauty Salon in Longfield wins regional category of 2005 National Training Awards.

Police plea after bones are found in woodland
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Police seek help in discovering identity of skeleton found in Horton Wood, Fawkham

16 November 2005
Classrooms wrecked in school fire
(BBC website) Fire at West Kent Hospital school at Main Road, Longfield (picture).  Firefighters manage to save 80% of building.

(see also "School site is still unsafe" - Dartford Messenger 24.11.05, p19 with pictures).

10 November 2005
Saddled up
(Dartford Messenger, p 24) Hartley Social Club charity bike ride raises £1,700 for Milestone School.

Speed cameras
(Dartford Messenger, p 25) Signs have gone up for these on Ash Road, which now allow the mobile unit to attend (photo).

3 November 2005
Lucky to live in the jackpot town
(Dartford Messenger, p3) According to Camelot, the DA postcode (which includes Hartley) is the 10th luckiest in the country for the National Lottery.

See also "Why town should feel very lucky" - Dartford Times, p 9.

Reception classes
(Dartford Messenger, p18-19) Pictures of reception classes at Hartley Primary, Our Lady of Hartley, Langafel CE and New Ash Green primary schools.

BBC interview
(Dartford Messenger, p 25) Manor Drive resident and secretary of their regimental old comrades' association interviewed.

Women have £5,000 of shoe stock stolen
(Dartford Messenger, p 7) Stock of shoe party organisers "Puss in Boots" stolen from Farm Holt on night of 6/7 October.

27 October 2005
Train hold up
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Trains delayed at Longfield for 10 minutes, following discovery of suspicious package, later reclaimed by owner.

Fawkham CE School
(Dartford Times, p XXXVIII) Picture of reception class.

20 October 2005
Goats get votes
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Langafel Primary School raises enough money to buy 23 goats for Africa (picture).

Disaster victims rebuild lives
(Dartford Times, p 4) Two ladies from New Ash Green raise £18,000 towards rebuilding village of Panadura in Sri Lanka, following the tsunami.

14 October 2005
Knowing New Ash Green
(News Shopper website) Feature on New Ash Green, which is in the shortlist of 100 for the Channel 4 Architectural Icons award.

13 October 2005
Wildlife grow-how rewarded
(Dartford Times, p9) Couple from Hartley win Gold award for wildlife garden from Sevenoaks Council.  Hartley Primary School highly commended.

Caring for ponds
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Pond warden appointed for Longfield.

Builder starts fire
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Fire brigade called to fire at Knights Croft, New Ash Green.

Quality service in parishes
(Dartford Messenger, p 23; additional reporting FHC) Hartley parish council is awarded quality status by the government.  Quality status is a case of having an elected (not nominated) council, a qualified clerk, and regular newsletters.

Delicious dining
(Dartford Messenger, p23) Pupils from Langafel Primary School attend healthy eating dinner at Green Man, Longfield Hill (pictures).

9 October 2005
Speed cameras for Ash Road shelved
(Kent on Sunday, p10) In response to a parliamentary question by Liberal Democrat MP, Tom Brake, minister said plans for Ash Road and another 500 sites have been put on hold pending a review.  Mr Brake said "it is extremely disturbing that the government is sitting on making decisions which could literally save lives.. ministers should not be pandering to boy racer instincts".  In reply government said it was time for an independent review. (further info, see 12 July)

It appears that the cameras were allowed after all - see 10 Nov.

6 October 2005
School Fears voiced
(Dartford Messenger, p 2) West Kent Hospital School in Main Road, Longfield concerned about being reclassified as a pupil referral unit.

Minor injuries
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Woman injured when her car overturned in Church Road, New Ash Green.

29 September 2005
Thieves target stables for saddles and stirrups
(Dartford Times, p3) Thieves steal 50 saddles worth £35,000 from Chapelwood Wood Industries between 1.30 and 2am on 25 September.  Police think it is linked to other thefts locally.

See also "Riding Tack stolen from stables" (BBC website)

Beef ban lift welcomed
(Dartford Times, p6) Hartley farmer (pictured) welcomes the end of the ban on the sale of beef from older cattle.

Club is keen to continue at field
(Dartford Messenger, p8) New Ash Green Cricket Club write to confirm they are not folding and plan to continue at Manor Field next year.

Polished Performance
(Dartford Messenger, p23) Nail technician (pictured) at Perfect 10 Salon in Cherry Trees wins national competition.

22 September 2005
Property Market
(Dartford Messenger, Prop 10) Your move has 5 bed house in Simons Drive for £770,000, 3 bed semi-detached bungalow in Cherry Trees for £299,000

15 September 2005
Speed 'putting lives in danger'
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Local resident (pictured on Hartley Green) calls for more action, citing 2 collisions in the last week.  He is unimpressed with the measures taken so far.

Charity Cash Boost
(Dartford Times, p2) New Ash Green junior rugby club raises £8,000 for Cancer charities.

Property Market
(Dartford Messenger, Property 8,19) Your Move have 4 bed house in Banckside on market for £380,000 and 6 bed semi in Manor Drive for £519,995.

12 September 2005
Parish Council Meeting
(FHC) Click here for our independent minutes of the meeting.

25 August 2005
Call for planning review
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Dartford MP Dr Stoate calls for a change in the law, after Kent County Council grant planning permission to themselves to redevelop Axton Chase School.

(Dartford Times, p16) Work of Animal Samaritans of Teal, Hartley highlighted (picture).

11 August 2005
Garden Day
(Dartford Times, p4) Open garden at St Margaret, Manor Drive for Eleanor Hospice.

4 August 2005
Hosepipe ban announced by Mid Kent Water
Press release) Hosepipe ban for domestic customers of Mid Kent Water begins at 9am on Monday 8th August.  Follow this link to see how the level of the local water table has fallen significantly (from Stansted borehole).

Schools honour retiring teachers
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Retirement of Headteacher of Our Lady of Hartley RC school (pictured)

Prize dancer
(Dartford Messenger, p7) 12 year old from Wellfield wins weekly dance prize at Pontins, and will now compete in national final (picture).

Keen and Green
(Dartford Times, p11) Sevenoaks council now recycle 31% of household waste, thus meeting Government 30% target.

28 July 2005
Super Gran
(Dartford Times, p11) 68 year old grandmother from Gorsewood Road is finalist in talent competition for over 60s organised by Yours Magazine (picture).

23 July 2005
Ash Road Telephone Box damaged
The window of the phone box at the corner of Ash Road and Culvey Close has been smashed, in what seems to be an act of vandalism (

21 July 2005
New head teacher sought
(Dartford Messenger, p23) Current head of Our Lady of Hartley RC school is leaving to become an area education officer for Kent County Council.

Ladies Cricket
(Dartford Messenger, p23) Hartley cricketer selected to play for England Ladies against Australia.

16 July 2005
Grass fire at Woodlands Avenue Park
The Fire Brigade was seen putting out a small grass fire at the roadside opposite the allotments at 11.50 am.

14 July 2005
Foster Mother is awarded an MBE

(Dartford Messenger, p13) Fawkham woman who has fostered over 30 children, is to receive MBE this week

Police 'delay' angers driver
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Driver unhappy about police response after van crashed into his car in Main Road, Longfield.

12 July 2005
Mobile Speed cameras for Ash Road?
 (KCC - Highways Advisory Board minutes) Ash Road and Hartley Road are one of two sites identified for new mobile speed camera checks.  It now requires Department of Transport approval.  The same meeting noted that where 'significant' after-data exists, the number of killed and seriously injured at camera sites has fallen by 72%, and the number of crashes by 55%.

8 July 2005
Hartley Bottom Farm first to be accredited for school visits
(Government Office for South East Press Release) Hartley Bottom Farm one of the first two farms in the south east to be accredited under the new scheme, which is intended to encourage countryside teaching.

7 July 2005
Wardens on road to violence
(Dartford Messenger, p1) Case of driver convicted of assault against Dartford traffic warden said to be "the tip of the iceberg" of a catalogue of incidents, including a warden spat at by a female driver in Station Road, Longfield.

30 June 2005
Miracle escape for trapped dogs
(Dartford Times, p9) Sevenoaks council environmental health officer had to rescue 2 dogs trapped under a shed in Valley Road, Fawkham.

Big hearted volunteers
(Dartford Times, p 13) Dartford Heart Foundation branch raises £1,492.65 from collections (which included at Waitrose Supermarket, Longfield).

Goods vehicle operator's licence
(Dartford Times, p 83) Application by Undercover Events Ltd to run 3 goods vehicles at Three Gates Road, Fawkham

Well done Hannah
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Fawkham School pupil given special award by Darent Valley Lions Club, for bravery in dealing with diabetes.

23 June 2005
Ben passes peaks test
(Dartford Times, p13) Man from Knights Croft, New Ash Green, completes 3 peaks challenge to raise £550 for Diabetes UK.

17 June 2005
Death lorry 'scrapped' by police
(BBC website) Following crash on Hoselands Hill on 1 September 2003 that resulted in the death of a delivery van driver, the driver of the other lorry (which was travelling at 41mph) was fined £600 and banned for one year.  The family of the deceased were unhappy the charge of causing death by dangerous driving was dropped, after it emerged the lorry had been scrapped.

16 June 2005
Property Market
(Dartford Messenger - Property, p8) Your Move has the following properties for sale in Hartley:

  • Hartley Bottom Road (3 bed house & 1¼ acres) £520,000
  • Manor Drive (5 bed det house) £495,000
  • Church Road (2 x new 4 bed houses) £495,000
  • Church Road (5 bed det house) £599,995
  • Hoselands Hill (4 bed det house) £385,000

Funding boost helps build youth shelter
(Dartford Times, p4) West Kent Housing Association give £1,500 to build youth shelter at Woodland Avenue.  Picture of 2 parish councillors, W.Kent representative and local children.

Have your say on new library
(Dartford Times, p6) Kent County Council to modernise New Ash Green Library, beginning on 16 July.

2 June 2005
Car theft warning
(Dartford Times, p7) Laptop computer stolen from car at New Ash Green on night of 24/25 May.

Fury at plan to cut ticket office times
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Dartford Council opposed to plans to reduce opening hours of ticket offices at Longfield Station and elsewhere.  However local police think the promise to deploy the staff on the trains and platforms may help cut crime.

Church fete draws in the crowds
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Picture of visitors to Hartley RC Church fete.

26 May 2005
Say 'Howdy' to deep south group
(Dartford Times, p5) Dixieland Group Happy Trails (pictured) to perform at New Ash Green Sports Pavilion.

Club hopes festival will pack them in
(Dartford Times, p6) New Ash Green Junior Rugby Club to hold bank holiday extravaganza, to raise money for cancer charities (picture).

Crackdown on off-road bikers
(Dartford Times, p9) Local police issue "section 59" orders to anti-social bikers in New Ash Green and elsewhere.  Under the terms of the order, the police can seize their bikes if caught again.

Cuts are 'not cost saving measure'
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Longfield to be worst affected locally by cuts in ticket office opening hours.

Pupils take part in celebrity show
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Feature and pictures on Hartley Primary School annual "Stars in their Eyes" show.

12 May 2005
The final countdown
(Dartford Times, pp 4-5) Description of the tense election count at Leigh City Technology College in Dartford. Things began with the arrival of the first ballot box from Longfield Hill at 10.16pm (by Porche). Throughout the night the parties matched each other pile for pile. The reporter thought that Labour believed they had lost. Dr Stoate thought he was helped by his campaign to save Central Park from road construction.

6 May 2005
Labour hold on to win in Dartford as Conservatives fail to win over voters
Dr Howard Stoate has been re-elected as Hartley's MP (Dartford Constituency), but with his majority reduced to 706. His vote fell by 5.4% but only the Conservatives' share of the vote only went up by 0.5% - the fewest of all the parties. The biggest gainers were the New England Party (+2.6%) and the Liberals (+2.3%).
Howard Stoate Labour 19,909 42.6%
Gareth Johnson Conservative 19,203 41.1%
Peter Bucklitsch Liberal Democrat 5,036 10.8%
Mark Croucher UKIP 1,407 3.0%
Michael Tibby New England 1,224 2.6%

Conservatives returned for Hartley's County Council Seat
Conservative David Brazier won the Sevenoaks North East County Council Seat easily with over 50% of the vote. However the Conservatives' share of the vote fell by 2%. The results were:
David Brazier Conservative 4,771 51.2%
Robert Carson Labour 1,803 19.4%
Philip Hobson Liberal Democrat 1,308 14.0%
Alan Pett Independent 1,032 11.1%
John Marshall English Democrat 396 4.3%

Conservatives get carried away
(News Shopper website) "Power hungry Tories got ahead of themselves claiming they had won the Dartford seat six hours before official results showed they were misguided". Local Conservatives contacted TV stations to make this claim about 11pm, apparently based on a poll of schoolchildren, where Conservatives got 673 votes, and Labour 655, on a 26% turnout.

5 May 2005
It's back by popular demand - New Ash Green's Sunday Market
(Dartford Times, advertisement, p13)

Bay watch: Police have their own parking slot outside store
(Dartford Messenger, p22) Dedicated police parking bay unveiled outside Waitrose in Longfield. Welcomed by store manager - "that will certainly act as a visual deterrent to crime". (picture)

28 April 2005
Thieves make speedy escape
(Dartford Times, p13) Speedboat worth £8,000 (pictured) stolen from Three Gates Road, Fawkham on evening of March 29th.

Cricket in Hartley
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p6) ... is alive and well. Country club will field 5 teams this year, on a square relaid after 70 years. Meanwhile New Ash Green and Hartley CC, along with Hextable CC will field teams at Manor Field.

21 April 2005
To the manor born
(Dartford Messenger, Property 1-2) Highfields, Manor Drive on market for £970,000 (2 pictures)

19 April 2005
Dartford General Election Candidates Announced
Dartford Borough Council website) There will be five candidates fighting the Dartford constituency, which includes Hartley, Fawkham and Longfield (but not New Ash Green), listed below.

  • Peter Bucklitsch (Liberal Democrat)**
  • Mark Croucher (UK Independence Party)
  • Gareth Johnson (Conservative)**
  • Howard Stoate (Labour)
  • Michael Tibby (New England)
(** home address not in the constituency, but both say they have links with the borough)

Click here for further details

County Council Candidates announced
There will be county council elections on the same day. For these Hartley, New Ash Green, Fawkham and West Kingsdown are in the Sevenoaks North East Division. There are 5 candidates for this election too and a list of them can be found on the
Sevenoaks Council website. There are no candidates from Hartley, but perhaps the best known locally is Alan Pett, for many years the head of the New Ash Green Village Association, and Sevenoaks District Councillor. The full list of candidates is:

  • David Brazier (Conservative)
  • Robert Carson (Labour)
  • Philip Hobson (Liberal Democrat)
  • John Marshall (English Democrat)**
  • Alan Pett (Independent)
(** also a general election candidate for the party in Sevenoaks constituency)

In the last election in 2001, the Conservatives got 53% of the vote, with Labour on 28% and the Liberals on 19%. However there have been boundary changes since then with the addition of West Kingsdown, and the 2003 Sevenoaks council elections suggest a swing away from the Conservatives. The 2003 results must be treated with some caution as the turnout was much lower, not all areas were fought by all parties, and local issues may have played a part. However then the Conservative's vote on the new boundaries had fallen to 50% with Independents on 36% and Labour on 14%.

14 April 2005
Let the games commence
(Dartford Times, p10) New Ash Green Junior Rugby Club is donated kit by sponsor AMB Sports Limited (picture)

Chav label unfair to area
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Local leaders criticise chavtowns.co.uk website for naming Dartford, Swanley, Bluewater and New Ash Green as chav hotspots. Local councillor Clive Bruce said "this is a very nice area and I've lived here for 32 years".

31 March 2005
Dead animals will cost us a packet
(Dartford Times - David Willetts, p 6) Hartley farmer raises concerns about the costs of the EU Fallen Stock directive, which means dead animals which could previously be buried on the farm will now cost £100 to send to special plants.

24 March 2005
Police hunt gang of thugs
(Dartford Times, p4) Three neighbours attacked in Caxton Close by a gang of thugs, when they tried to stop them vandalising a car in Caxton Close, Hartley

Mother's day abseil
(Dartford Messenger - Colin Senneck, p23) Billings Hill Shaw lady raised £700 for Cancer Research UK by abseiling down main stand at Twickenham.

How much to change a light fitting? £333 at Darent Valley Hospital
(Dartford Messenger - Lauren Abbott, p1&3) Concerns over high price of minor repairs charged by the Private Finance Initiative operator Carillion.

17 March 2005
Tots futures saved in the nick of time
(Dartford Times, p4) Intervention of local MP saves Molly's Preschool in Gorsewood Road, Longfield, after Kent County Council tried to slash funding (picture).

10 March 2005
Field of Death
(Dartford Times, p15) In recent months RSPCA find 9 horses either dead or the victims of severe neglect in a field in Fawkham.

Missed Treat
(Dartford Messenger - Colin Senneck, p17) Only 6 paying customers for excellent production "Two for the 1/9s" by the Time of Our Lives Music Theatre Company at All Saints' Hall, Hartley

3 March 2005
'Bullied' officer jailed for perverting course of justice
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Met Police PC, who lives in New Ash Green jailed for 2½ years for perverting the course of justice, jury failed to agree on other charges of obtaining money by deception and criminal damage. Trial took 3 months.
(Previous article)

24 February 2005
Rotary raises thousands
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Rotarians' Christmas collections raise £11,000 for the Ellenor Foundation. Picture of local rotarian Bryan Smith and others presenting the cheque.

Levels rise across area
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Sevenoaks Council tax to rise by 4.7% to £145.80, by contrast council tax in neighbouring Dartford is £131.85. In all a band D resident in Hartley will pay £1,079.98 in 2005/6.

Postal studies
(Dartford Messenger, p6) Exhibition by Axton Chase pupils on the history of the postal system will be displayed in Folkestone gallery.

10 February 2005
Dartford's Police Community Support Officers
(Dartford Messenger, p12-13) Big feature and pictures on the new local police community support officers, including PCSO Andy Swanson of New Ash Green, and PCSO Tony Quilter of Longfield (Hartley has no PCSO).

Volunteers are a rare breed
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Picture of Kent Wildlife Trust members working on scrub clearence at the Longfield Chalk Bank.

Malawi Challenge
(Dartford Messenger, Colin Senneck, p24) Two Hartley pupils at St George's School are raising money to take part in Worldwide Expeditions Team visit to Malawi in 2006.

Hats off to fundraisers
(Dartford Times, p8) Letter congratulates two fundraisers in New Ash Green for the Tsunami appeal

Winter Fuel Payments
(Hansard, Parliamentary Question, col 1783-4) To a question from Dr Stoate, the minister Malcolm Wicks said in 2003/4 there were 1,680 recipients of Winter Fuel Payments for the Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward.  The figures for Longfield, New Barn & Southfleet ward is 1,635 and for Fawkham and West Kingsdown - 1,415.

20 January 2005
E-mail runied my life
(Dartford Messenger, p3) 55 year old man from Manor Forstal, New Ash Green, embarassed when his CV was sent worldwide, and is considering legal action against the alleged purpetrators.

13 January 2005
Beware criminals
(Dartford Messenger, p26) Lady driver followed home by criminals who snatched her bag when she opened the car door.