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David Hughes and Leon Darling sentenced for knife incident at woman's house on Poet's Estate, Canterbury


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Two friends armed themselves with a knife before terrifying a woman late at night on a Canterbury housing estate.

The victim heard banging on her front door and opened it to see two men running at her – one holding the weapon.

She pushed them away and closed the door, but they attempted to get in through a back entrance before running off on the Poet’s Estate, off Sturry Road.

Leon Darling
Leon Darling

The police were called and stopped a car nearby. David Hughes, 22, and Leon Darling, 19, were found inside, both with knives.

The pair appeared at Canterbury Crown Court and admitted possessing a knife on September 24.

Darling also admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Kye Dunn in a separate incident.

The court heard Darling and Mr Dunn were good friends, having met in prison. They drove to Aylesham, where Darling bought a crate of beer and a bottle of vodka.

David Hughes
David Hughes

They drove around the area smoking cannabis, picked up Darling's girlfriend and went back to Aylesham.

Darling began drinking the beer and vodka while continuing to drive the car. He argued with his girlfriend and then Mr Dunn, who was by then at the wheel, crashed the car into a tree, prosecutor Simon Taylor told the court.

"It is high time each of you put your lives in order" - Judge Adele Williams

Darling then attacked Mr Dunn, punching him in the face and hitting him several times with a baseball bat.

He told him he wanted money for a new car by the next day.

Mr Dunn went to hospital the following day, where a slight fracture of his cheekbone was found.

Darling has previous convictions for dishonesty, battery and public order and driving offences.

John Fitzgerald, defending Darling, said Mr Dunn was driving the car when the accident happened.

“Darling asked for money for the car and violence ensued,” he said.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

“They are pals and have been through tough times together. He is very sorry he set about his friend on that day and his remorse is genuine.”

Simon Burch, defending Hughes, said he had family in Dover but lived in Liverpool.

“He did not mastermind the event at the house in Canterbury,” he said.

Hughes was jailed for 14 months and Darling, of Chilton Place, Ash, for a total of 22 months.

Judge Adele Williams told them: “It is high time each of you put your lives in order.”

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