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Faversham: Ryan and Ricky Hilden will pay back £9k after town centre rampage

By Bess Browning

Richard, known as Ricky, and Ryan Hilden, both 23, went on a drunken spree on February 11, smashing windows, car wing mirrors and shop-fronts throughout the town.

Owners of Thomson travel agents, Mackay & Co Solicitors, Faversham Furnishing, the Fleur de Lis heritage centre, Spice Lounge restaurant and Ala Mode clothes shop all faced huge bills to repair the damage.

Richard and Ryan Hilden apologised for causing £9k worth of damage in a rampage through Faversham town centre.

Richard and Ryan Hilden apologised for causing £9k worth of damage in a rampage through Faversham town centre.

Ricky, of Arden Road, and Ryan, of Lion Field, appeared at Maidstone Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where they pleaded guilty to 12 charges of criminal damage and one count of theft – they had stolen a crate of beer from Tesco supermarket.

Prosecutor Mark Kateley said: “On February 11, they went on what can only be described as a rampage through Faversham town centre.

“A large amount of damage was caused to vehicles, property and all manner of items, amounting to £9,000 in damage.

Thomson travel agents had its window damaged.

Thomson travel agents had its window damaged.

“The impact on the community could merit committing this to crown court.

“On the night, various calls came from distressed members of the public saying that a lot of damage was being caused by a group of people in Faversham.

“Five police officers carried out an area search and as they were making their way to Gatefield Lane they were directed towards Newton Road where they had been seen causing damage to a window using a For Sale sign.

“The police saw Ricky and Ryan hitting various vehicles and throwing objects. They started to run but Ricky was rugby tackled to the ground and Ryan was later detained near to the recreation ground.”

Independent business Faversham Furniture had all of its windows smashed.

Independent business Faversham Furniture had all of its windows smashed.

A 21-year-old was also arrested but released without a charge and a third 23-year-old escaped with a caution.

On Tuesday, probation officer David Mowbray spoke to both Ricky and Ryan before sentencing and said they presented as sensible men who are extremely remorseful.

He said that both are now in full-time work, Ricky working for a loft conversion company and Ryan working on the railway.

Mr Mowbray said: “Ricky’s mother is very angry and ashamed of his actions. He told me a number of times that she was disgusted by his actions towards the community of Faversham.

The Fleur de Lis museum was one of the buildings targeted.

The Fleur de Lis museum was one of the buildings targeted.

“Since this offence there have been some big changes. He has a stable relationship and he has full-time employment.

“He is very eager to make reparations to the community. He is not a violent person and is starting to turn a corner but he knows he has to be punished.

“Ryan has never been in any sort of trouble like this offence.

Mackay Co solicitors.

Mackay & Co solicitors.

“He is extremely remorseful. Both young men present to me as very sensible but they feel embarrassed and feel sorry for the Faversham community.”

Both Ricky and Ryan, who were unrepresented, requested to speak to magistrates directly during the case.

They apologised, saying they realised it was stupid and they were embarrassed and humiliated.

Magistrate Tim Bucher said: "We have been discussing this for some time. You have been on the cusp of custody.

"You caused havoc in Faversham and the fact you were drunk does not help at all.

"Faversham and all towns need to be protected from these sorts of actions."

Both men were sentenced to 56 days in prison, suspended for a year and must complete 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.

They do not have to pay any costs or victim surcharge because of the level of compensation being so high.

They have been given a curfew between 6pm and 6am on Saturdays which will last for three months.

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