Vandals escape jail after smashing up Hartlepool flat

Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.
Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

Two men have narrowly avoided being sent to prison for vandalising a flat.

Robert Owens and Carl Parvin admitted trespassing into the property and damaging a wall by punching and kicking it.

The witness could see two men inside throwing things around

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh

A neighbour rang police after spotting two men trashing the flat in Tower Street, Hartlepool, on March 10, by throwing items around and overturning a sofa. Teesside Crown Court heard the flat had suffered wanton vandalism by other trespassers after it was abandoned by the problem tenant who was in the process of being evicted.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said:

“The property was checked in January when only minor damage was seen, nothing more severe than burn marks.

“On Tuesday, March 10, a witness heard banging coming from the direction of the burgled property. She could see two men inside throwing things around the room and the sofa had been turned over.

“She immediately rang the police as they were clearly trashing the place.”

Owens, 23, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to cause damage, on a basis he kicked a hole in a bedroom wall. Parvin, 25, who is deaf, admitted the same charge on the basis he repeatedly punched the same bedroom wall. Ms Haigh added: “It is not clear whether other persons had caused damage on previous occasions.”

Andrew Teate, mitigating for Parvin, said: “The majority of the damage was already caused by other individuals. It was a bit of a doss house, somewhere where nobody was living, the individual had moved out.”

Ian Mullarkey, mitigating for Owens, added: “The householder had effectively abandoned the property so there is no emotional consequence of whatever damage was caused.

“He very much regrets his involvement in this offence. This is an offence which is out of character for him.”

Parvin, of Stockton Road, Hartlepool, was given 16 months prison, which was suspended for 18 months.

Owens, of Myers Avenue, also Hartlepool, was given 10 months which was suspended for 12 months.

Both were ordered to pay victim surcharges of £100.