‘Threatened’ councillor’s home and car vandalised

Councillor John Marshall and the damage to his car
Councillor John Marshall and the damage to his car

A COUNCILLOR says he fears for his own safety after being targeted by vandals who caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to his house and car.

John Marshall, an independent councillor for the St Hilda’s ward, was left stunned when he woke up yesterday morning to discover a window at the front of his house in St Helen’s Street on Hartlepool’s Headland, had been smashed.

His two-year-old Citroen Picasso car, which was parked on the drive, also had windows smashed and had been extensively damaged across the doors and roof.

A brick was found lying in the front garden of his home, with broken glass shattered across his property.

Coun Marshall has had his property damaged before in similar incidents, and claims he told police he had been threatened just hours before discovering the latest attack.

He said: “I was out in the street on Tuesday and threats were made against me, as well as my daughter and my granddaughter.

“I reported it to the police straight away and they said they would look into it.

“It obviously happened during Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, and the damage was horrendous.

“There was glass all over the house where the window had been put through, and the car is smashed up.

“The damage is horrendous.”

Coun Marshall has his own ideas who may have targeted him, and admits he is considering leaving the area because he constantly fears for the safety of himself and his family.

The 59-year-old, who lives with partner Darlene Flounders, added: “When threats are made not just to me, but to my daughter and her seven-year-old child, then that’s not right.

“I spend my life trying to help people in my role as a councillor, but maybe because of that and the fact I sometimes say things which may upset people, it appears I’m being victimised.

“There is definitely a vendetta against me. I have had loads of incidents like this happen to me in the past, a couple of years ago my caravan was wrecked when it was parked outside my house.

“There is only so much a person can take, and this has really upset me.

“I’m used to fighting people’s corners and doing the best I can for them, but when things like this happen it makes me wonder if it’s all worth it.

“It’s pushing me towards a breakdown, and even though I’ve lived here 30 years and absolutely love the area, I must admit I’m considering packing my bags and getting out.”

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said officers are investigating the matter.