A VANDAL was slapped with a £3,000 damage bill after smashing the windows of three South Tyneside shops.
Steven Elwood went on the late-night rampage in South Shields’s King Street after getting drunk following a split with his girlfriend.
The 30-year-old broke window panes in Greenwood’s, Internacional and Thompson travel agents overnight between November 13 and 14 – causing £3,000 damage to each shop.
He rang the police the following day, admitting it was him.
And he narrowly avoided jail for his actions, being handed a suspended sentence.
Elwood, of Grotto Gardens, Marsden, South Shields, pleaded guilty to criminal damage at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “He told the police he threw a paving slab through the windows.
“He said he was drunk and angry after splitting up with his girlfriend.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “He has absolutely no recollection of what happened that night.
“He knows he had been in Newcastle and that he came back to South Shields.
“He became aware the windows had been broken and handed himself in.
“He was under the influence when it took place.”
Magistrates gave Elwood an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and he was ordered to pay each shop £1,000 compensation.
He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.