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Rival gangs from Sittingbourne and Faversham jailed for violent fight at Sittingbourne railway station

Fourteen members of rival gangs from Sittingbourne and Faversham who clashed in a violent confrontation at a railway station have all been locked up.

The judge who sentenced them said it was “a frightening example of violent disorder” with bottles, baseball bats and sticks used as weapons.

He said of the behaviour of those in the dock, several of them teenagers: “It’s every parent’s nightmare.”

Some of the gangs had baseball bats
Some of the gangs had baseball bats

Judge Michael Carroll imposed sentences of between four months and two years, either prison or youth custody depending on age.

He gave those who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder a 50 per cent “discount” for having to wait more than two years to know their fate.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard during the trial, which lasted seven weeks, how passengers fled Sittingbourne station in fear as the violence erupted.

Sittingbourne railway station. File photo.
Sittingbourne railway station. File photo.

Prosecutor Vivian Walters said the ruck - which lasted just two minutes - was sparked by an incident about a month earlier at Faversham carnival.

There followed taunts and threats on Facebook before the planned confrontation. Teenager Fred Ketteringham posted: “Sittingbourne runs the coast of Kent.”

Miss Walters said the Sittingbourne gang members gathered on platform one on November 16, 2012, waiting for their rivals’ train at 10.30pm.

"It's a frightening example of violent disorder... It's every parent's nightmare" - Judge Michael Carroll

CCTV footage showed the Faversham gang - some of them armed and wearing balaclavas - getting off the train and rushing down the platform.

Alex Cole, from Faversham, smashed a bottle on the head of Perry Sharpe, from Sittingbourne.

“The Sittingbourne group turned tail and ran out of the station chased by the Faversham group,” said Miss Walters.

Miss Walters said there were blood spatters all over the platform, through the booking hall and into the street.

The Faversham gang crossed over to another platform to get a train home.

Miss Walters said a revenge attack was planned for the next day when a gang travelled to Faversham station, but it was nipped in the bud by police.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The Faversham gang was sentenced as follows:

Alex Cole, 22, of Fostall Road, 18 months; Jake Lee-Alliston, 23, of Edward Vinson Drive, Adam McMachan, 18, of Lewis Close, Luke Taylor, 21, of Lower Road, Adam Willis, 19, of Reedland Crescent, all 10 months; Ben Branson-Stokes, 18, of Fostall Road, six months; a 17-year-old, who cannot be identified, four months detention and training.

The Sittingbourne gang, including one living in Faversham, was sentenced as follows:

Frankie Crimes, 19, of Woodbury Drive, Murston, 10 months; Reuben Heylligar, 18, of Harrison Terrace, 18 months; Harry Hilden, 19, of Orchard View, Teynham, six months; Fred Ketteringham, 18, of Recreation Road, Faversham, 21 months; Billy Lee, 18, of Quinton Road, two years; Ryan Murphy, 21, of Frank Apps Road, Newington, 12 months; Perry Sharpe, 20, of Bull Lane, Newington, 16 months.

Hilden and Crimes were only involved in the second incident.

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