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Home Canterbury News Article
A mindless vandal smashed the windows of one of Canterbury's most historic buildings... before handing himself in to police after a Facebook campaign to catch him.
It was barely one hour into the new year when the dark-haired thug punched through the Tudor windows of the 15th century House of Agnes hotel in St Dunstan's Street.
He shattered one of the panes and broke the leading and glass on two others, cutting his hand and leaving a trail of blood.
But the dopey vandal did not realise his antics were being captured on a CCTV system installed the week before – despite a nearby sign reading "Smile, you're on camera".
An appeal was launched on Facebook to find the culprit, who struck at 1.25am on New Year's Day, when guests at the hotel were still celebrating.
House of Agnes manager Sandie de Rougemont had been landed with a hefty repair bill, because insurance would not have covered the specialist work needed to repair the Grade II-listed building.
But two days later, after seeing the social media storm, the man responsible had a sudden attack of conscience and handed himself in.
Sandie said: "Due to all the good work by Facebook social networking, the culprit gave himself up by coming into the House of Agnes.
"He is a quiet-mannered guy in his senior year at uni. We will be following the restorative justice route so he doesn't get a criminal record but, of course, he will have to pay for the damage caused.
"I think this is a definite hurrah for the Canterbury community. He is unlikely to do anything dumb like that again.
"I get my window back, and hopefully it's a lesson to any other dummies who think they can get away with vandalism – Canterbury is watching them."
It is not the first time businesses and homes in the St Dunstan's area have been targeted by yobs.
Just before Christmas in 2012, a passer-by tried to rip a window box from the wall of the House of Agnes, causing extensive damage.
"We will be following the restorative justice route so he doesn't get a criminal record but, of course, he will have to pay for the damage caused..." - hotel manager Sandie de Rougemont
Sandie said: "So many people in the area have had similar problems. No one can have things like floral displays outside, because they just get pulled out.
"It's stupid and senseless, and people are getting really fed up with it.
"We work so hard to make this a beautiful city, and we're proud of it. As a community, we just want people to be aware of what they're doing."
Police investigated the crime and said they have regular patrols in the area to deter anti-social behaviour.
Inspector Sharon Adley, from the police's community safety unit, said: "The hotel is located on one of the main routes leading out of the city centre when pubs and clubs close, and is targeted by police officers who patrol the area on a regular basis."
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