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Faversham: Ryan Hilden escapes prison sentence and brags about it on Facebook

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A man who crashed his brother’s car into the side of a Faversham pub bragged on Facebook “I’m a free man” just minutes after stepping out of court.

Ryan Hilden, 24, who last year caused thousands of pounds of damage to businesses and cars on a drunken rampage in the town centre, has escaped jail yet again.

Hilden, of Abbeyfields, who has only paid back £125 of the £5,705 in compensation he owed to business owners, was this week convicted of careering his car into the Market Inn on Boxing Day, with no licence or insurance, before “staggering” away and not reporting the accident to the police.

Ryan Hilden.
Ryan Hilden.

He was told by Maidstone magistrates he missed out on a prison sentence by the “skin of his teeth”.

Prosecutor Stacey Holland said: “On December 26 last year the complainant, the defendant’s brother Dominic Hilden had left his car parked with the keys in the driver’s seat door pocket.

“At around 10pm, the landlady at the Market Inn heard a crashing sound and went outside to see what had happened.

“She found a vehicle had crashed into the side of the pub and then saw the defendant climb out of the driver’s seat and she described him as staggering across the road.

“She knew he was a former customer. He said to her ‘do you know who I am?’ He then walked off, failing to report the accident.

“A witness took a picture of the defendant by the car. Police are called and later on the owner realises the car is missing and reports it to the police.

“The defendant was later arrested more than 24 hours after the crash. He had crashed because he turned into Park Road too quickly and ended up on the pavement.”

Ryan Hilden posted this on Facebook after walking free from court.
Ryan Hilden posted this on Facebook after walking free from court.

Hilden caused £1,500 worth of damage to the Ford Fusion and £1,064 to the historic Shepherd Neame pub.

He will have to take part in 100 hours of unpaid work, 30 days of rehab activity requirement days and pay £300 in compensation to an insurance company, £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

When leaving court on Thursday, he took to social media to voice his delight at the sentence, posting on Facebook “I’m a free man” and quickly receiving lots of ‘likes’.

It comes as another Faversham thug was jailed for four years last week after boasting on Facebook about attacking a Domino’s pizza delivery driver.

On February 11 last year, Hilden and his cousin Richard Hilden, known as Ricky, went on a drunken spree, smashing windows, car wing mirrors and shop fronts, before stealing a crate of beer from Tesco.

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.

The Market Inn in East Street, Faversham.
The Market Inn in East Street, Faversham.

Both Hildens were handed a suspended sentence in September and forced to carry out community work and pay £9,000 back in compensation.

Chairman of the bench Mr West said: “We have been considering a prison sentence and with the skin of your teeth, you will not be sent to prison.

“You have however committed a serious offence and we will be extending your suspended sentence for 12 months.

“You have six months left of your former suspended sentence so if you are back in court within 18 months you can expect to be sent to prison.”

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