A man who was arrested hours after he smashed his way into a café in Biggin Hill has been ordered to pay the owners £400 in compensation.

Stephen Mark Gough, 39, pleaded guilty to burgling Spitfire Café on Main Road, which is home to historic war memorabilia, in the early hours of August 8.

A Bromley policeman told News Shopper Gough, of Denmark Road, South Norwood, received a six month custodial sentence and was ordered to pay compensation to cover the damage.

Before his arrest, Sally O’Connor, who set up the café with husband Barry six years ago, said she was "devastated" after hearing about the break-in.

"My heart sank thinking of all the memorabilia and personal letters and stories we have received from customers all over the world – even as far as Australia," she told News Shopper.

Nothing was taken and Sally was "relieved" that the Second World War memorabilia was safe.

Gough didn’t steal anything after smashing the window and appearing to search the premises.

The response to the burglary assured Sally and her family of just how appreciated they are.

She said: "I’ve received so many comments, up to one hundred of them saying they hope all is ok and that at least nobody was hurt.

"I think the café is a big part of the community."

Sally and Barry, who are from Orpington, are now considering installing shutters despite never being raided before.

"That will be such a shame," Sally said. "We get people from the RAF Chapel and they can look through the window and see a bit of our collection."

Spitfire is open for business as usual and Sally said the family-ran café will not be deterred despite last week’s scare.