Kent Messenger Maidstone

‘Appalling’ thieves get a last chance


A THIEVING couple who have “accumulate­d a whole raft of conviction­s” escaped being locked up despite a despairing judge declaring: “I cannot see this is going to stop any time soon.”

Judge Jeremy Carey said he would like to protect people from Amy Benardout and Jessie Hilden, but he didn’t think prison would make much difference.

The judge was faced with the problem of how to punish pregnant Benardout, 18, and 23-yearold Hilden, of Crystal House, Coral Park, Maidstone, after they admitted burglary.

He eventually decided to defer sentence for six months to see if they could keep out of trouble.

“I warn you if you do commit further offences during that period you will leave me with no alternativ­e but to send you to prison,” he warned.

“One of the reasons I do not want to send you to prison is I suspect it is no deterrent for you. I want to find a more constructi­ve way of dealing with you.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard Benardout and Hilden broke into a home in Abery Drive, Larkfield, in September last year and stole a £500 computer and jewellery worth £200.

The judge told Benardout and Hilden: “You are right at the very limit of the world in which civilised, responsibl­e people behave. Your records are truly appalling.”

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