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Aylesford: Burglar jailed after causing £48,000 of damage in raid on the Hengist

A burglar who caused thousands of pounds of damage to an Aylesford restaurant before making off with a single bottle of vodka has been jailed.

Daniel Pope, 38, and an unidentified associate forced their way into the Hengist overnight on May 3, using a metal pole to open the rear door of the High Street premises.

Once inside, they smashed bottles of spirits using two bar stools and several leather chairs were slashed with a knife.

Daniel Pope (2924762)
Daniel Pope (2924762)

As they left through a kitchen area with a stolen bottle of alcohol, a stand was pulled over causing numerous items of crockery to smash on the floor.

The damage is estimated to have totalled around £48,000.

Kent Police was called when the burglary was discovered by staff and officers seized a screw driver from behind the bar and a craft knife that did not belong in the premises.

Forensic examination of the tools found Pope’s DNA and fingerprints.

Pope, of Huntington Road, Coxheath was arrested on June 4, before being charged with burglary and criminal damage and remanded in custody.

He pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and was sentenced on Friday to two years and three months imprisonment.

Investigating officer, PC Rachel Manley said: "Pope went to this small village restaurant with the intention of causing as much damage as possible.

"Small businesses like these are vital to the local economy but will struggle to make a profit if they have to close for repairs due to mindless criminality.

"Pope’s appalling behaviour has resulted in him rightly spending time in prison."

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