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Man from Sittingbourne arrested after 'Santa attack'


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A man has been arrested following an attack on Santa.

A tour through Sittingbourne had to be abandoned after witnesses say a drunk clambered aboard a sleigh and threatened to punch Father Christmas after being told there were no presents for him.

Santa and his sleigh team back on the road in Sittingbourne
Santa and his sleigh team back on the road in Sittingbourne

Danielle Hoynes, 44, who organises the rides through the town for the delight of youngsters, said she also had her permit badge ripped off her chest during the incident.

She said: “It wasn’t very nice. Unfortunately, I didn’t think at the time and grabbed it back. I was so angry. In hindsight, it was a stupid thing to do.

“He could have been armed with a knife. The incident really shook us all up.”

Officers investigating a report that a man and a woman were assaulted in East Street, Sittingbourne, on Monday, December 6, say they have made an arrest.

A police spokesman said: "A 36-year-old man from Sittingbourne was detained on December 14 on suspicion of assault and causing harassment, alarm and distress. He was later released pending further enquiries."

Danielle Hoynes and two friends from Cats Protection Swale at the Sittingbourne Christmas lights switch-on
Danielle Hoynes and two friends from Cats Protection Swale at the Sittingbourne Christmas lights switch-on
Santa switched on the Sittingbourne Christmas lights
Santa switched on the Sittingbourne Christmas lights

Santa, who switched on the town's Christmas lights in November, has since returned to the road to carry on waving to the town's children.

Danielle added: “It is important an incident like that doesn’t stop one of the town’s best traditions. I just feel sorry for the people who did this. They must have very sad lives.”

Police were called and tracked down the suspect after viewing CCTV footage from Swale council’s security cameras.

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