Wrecking spreecosts yob just £100

Jordan Watson
Jordan Watson

A YOB who trashed a flat after landlords evicted him for his unruly behaviour has been ordered to pay just £100 by a court despite causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage in a wrecking spree.

Jordan Watson was chucked out of his flat in Hartlepool’s Church Street after a group of his pals forced their way in one night and went on a wrecking spree which ended in them throwing his mattress out of the window.

When staff from landlords Stonham Housing told Watson he was going to be evicted following the incident, he told them he was going to “smash it up”.

And the 26-year-old kept his word by:

Punching gaping holes in the walls and large holes in the ceiling;

Smashing up a television unit and coffee table;

Ripping off a cupboard door in the living room;

Tearing an electric oven off a wall in the kitchen;

Damaging an iron.

Prosecuting at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, Lilian Atkinson told justices: “The defendant lived in sheltered accommodation which was a one-bedroomed self-contained flat.

“At around 2.30pm the defendant attended the office which was staffed. He was intoxicated and had cuts and abrasions to his right fingers and knuckles, and when he was questioned about his injuries he was evasive and tried to hide the injuries.

“He said he was going to smash up his room.

“At about 3.30pm the staff member attended the defendant’s room as she suspected he had caused damage, and once she was inside the room she witnessed extensive damage to the whole flat.

“It had been completely trashed.”

She added: “In interview Watson said he’d been given notice to leave the flat due to his behaviour and was angry, so, at about 2.30pm, he went into his flat and smashed it up. He said he has a drink problem and was drunk and angry.”

Watson, now of Arch Court, on the Central Estate, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage on January 21.

He represented himself in court and told the bench: “The reason I got told to leave is because my friends and people who I didn’t even know had been in my flat and wrecked it.

“I got asked to leave and I did do what has been said and I will pay for any damage. A couple of my mates and loads of people from Church Street, who I didn’t even know, came into my flat.

“I was drunk and asleep and they just went mad and started wrecking stuff. Some of them chucked my mattress out the window, so that will probably be wrecked, and they even put tab ends in my ears and stuff.

“I didn’t even know they were there.

“As a result I lost my flat and I slept on the streets for two nights, but now my aunty has taken me in.”

He added: “I have a drink problem and I had a drink last night because I was worried about coming here, but that was the first time in about five days.”

Probation worker Eileen Dougherty told the court that Watson started drinking heavily two years ago after the breakdown of his relationship with his girlfriend, but realises what he did was wrong.

Chairman of the bench John Taylor sentenced him to a six-month community order with six-months supervision, ordered him to pay £40 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Vicky Husband, senior client services manager at Stonham, part of Home Group, said: “Home Group discovered damage to one of its Hartlepool Stonham properties, which provides care and support, following an incident in January.

“Police responded quickly and arrested a man on suspicion of criminal damage. The matter has now been dealt with at court.”