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Home Canterbury News Article
A Faversham man has been found guilty of harassing a young man he accused of rape.
Jonathan Gill, of Whitstable Road, was found guilty of putting up posters around the town that accused 20-year-old Louis Kennett of being a rapist.
The 48-year-old distributed the posters around the town – including outside Mr Kennett's house.
Gill said he did not intentionally put them outside his home, but was placing them "where children and parents could see them".
The posters were seen near Davington Primary School in Priory Row, Faversham swimming pool in Leslie Smith Drive, and the Abbey School in London Road.
Gill was spotted on CCTV pushing one of the posters through the letterbox of the former Wimpey restaurant in Preston Street and was then seen on CCTV up the road in Wetherspoons, where police identified him.
"I have not left the house as I am so scared about what might happen and I am now going to stay with relatives..." - Louis Kennett
Mr Kennett was not in Maidstone Magistrates' Court for the case, but his statement was read out by Samuel Stebbings, representing him.
Mr Stebbings spoke about two previous allegations of sexual abuse made against Mr Kennett, which were both thrown out through lack of evidence.
Mr Kennett's statement read: "In 2012, I was investigated by Kent Police about allegations about sexual offences. I was not prosecuted.
"These investigations have had a big effect on mine and my family's lives."
Mr Kennett went on to tell the magistrates he was alerted to the posters on March 11 and immediately ripped them down. My family and I are really upset by these posters.
"I have not left the house as I am so scared about what might happen and I am now going to stay with relatives that live away from Faversham.
"I don't know Jonathan Gill and hadn't heard about him until he added me as a friend on Facebook."
Gill admitted sending Facebook friend requests to Mr Kennett and his family and sending a message to a member of the family outlining details of what he had allegedly done.
Gill said: "Out of anger and frustration, I made these posters. There was no malice involved.
"I did this to warn parents and I didn't intentionally put them outside his house, I was putting them where children were.
"There was no harassment. I know where he lives. If I wanted to harass or upset him, I would have posted them through his letterbox, his mother's letterbox, his grandmother's letterbox."
Gill went on to say he had printed 50 of the posters at work, but had only distributed six because "I realised this was pointless and my anger had worn off, so I chucked them away".
"It was 10-20 minutes of madness and then I came to my senses," he added.
Magistrate Jennifer McQueen said Gill should have known that his actions would cause Mr Kennett distress.
Gill was given community service and a therapy session to "think before you take action" in the future.
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