Hartlepool man cleared of £50,000 criminal damage allegations against solicitors' vehicles and offices

Criminal charges against a man accused of causing more than £50,000 damage in vandal attacks against a firm of Hartlepool solicitors have been dropped.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 3:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 3:45 pm

Graeme Pattinson, 54, faced 12 counts relating to damage caused to vehicles and the offices of Smith and Graham based in Church Square Hartlepool dating back to between late 2018 and September last year.

But the Crown Prosecution Service formally offered no evidence during a brief hearing at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday, November 2.

The judge directed that not guilty verdicts would be recorded for each charge.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The damage was alleged to have occurred at Smith & Graham Solicitors (left) in Church Square, Hartlepool.

They comprised of ten allegations of damaging property, one of conspiracy to commit criminal damage with others unknown, and one of intending to pervert the course of public justice.

Vincent Blake-Barnard, for the prosecution, said following the review of the evidence that “the Crown’s position is they intend now to offer no evidence in this matter”.

The allegations related to damage to three Land Rover Discovery vehicles, a Kia Sportage and Smith and Graham’s offices.

Zahra Baqri, representing Mr Pattinson, of Meadowgate Drive, Hartlepool, said: “I’m most grateful to my friend for the careful consideration he has given to this case.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson, directed not guilty verdicts on each of the 12 counts and ordered the defence’s costs to be paid once determined.

Judge Watson said: “Mr Pattinson that’s it as far as you are concerned.

"The prosecution have offered no evidence and I have directed not guilty verdicts on relation to all these matters.

"You are now free to go and that’s an end of the case.”

Read More

Read More
Police chief to quiz force on how females are protected from violence

Support your Mail and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on Pools and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

The Hartlepool Mail has been in town since 1877, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.