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Drunken soldier smashed up Boots store

A 20-year-old soldier caused major damage to a Boots store after going on a drunken binge.

A crown court judge was told David Boydell had been out drinking with an off-duty policeman friend when he smashed his way into the store in The Parade, Canterbury. He damaged the premises so badly it couldn’t open the following day.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that police who were called to the store by the alarm at about 2am on January 4 last year found Boydell inside amid the wreckage which cost Boots in terms of damage and loss of trade, £18,250.

Boydell, of Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, was taken to hospital for treatment to a gashed arm. He later told police he couldn’t explain his actions but believed his drink may have been spiked.

Boydell, a mechanic with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers based at Catterick, denied criminal damage but was convicted by the jury.

He faced being dimissed from the army but Recorder Peter Morgan decided not to jail him. Instead he was ordered the soldier to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

The judge told Boydell: “I am told a prison sentence would put paid to your career and you are a good soldier. I am not sure that it would be in the public interest to send you to prison.”

After ordering him to pay Boots £2,500 compensation, the judge added: “I wish you well in the army.”

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