Man damaged wardrobe at South Shields supported living accommodation in Beach Road, then raged at manager when he asked for a screwdriver to fix it

A man put a spanner in the works when he damaged a South Tyneside homeless support group’s wardrobe in anger – then asked for a screwdriver to fix it.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 6:00 am

Lee Ramshaw, 34, lost his temper and kicked off with a senior staff member – and ended up losing the roof over his head.

The dad damaged the furniture at Supporting Lives’ Ridge House unit in Beach Road, South Shields, on March 4.

He did so more in frustration than anger when mental health woes got the better of him, magistrates in South Tyneside were told.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ridge House in Beach Road, which is run by supported living organisation Supporting Lives

The court heard he is now having to pay for his latest temporary accommodation at the Grand Hotel in Seaburn, Sunderland.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said: “The witness is the regional manager at Ridge House in Beach Road.

“She was called to attend to speak to the defendant. She realised there was damage to a wardrobe door.

“When she spoke to him, he was shouting and screaming in her face.

“He was asked to leave the property but refused to do so, and the police were called. He admitted causing the damage.”

In a statement read to the court, Supporting Lives said it was a small organisation which could not afford to take financial repair hits – and Ms Duffy asked for £450 compensation.

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “Ridge House is a property to home people who have homeless issues.

“They are asking for £450 compensation for a replacement wardrobe.

“His position has always been that the handle was loose and he asked for a screwdriver to fix it.

“He does say that he’s been having a very difficult time recently. He’s a man with significant mental health issues.

“On this particular day his mental health was particularly poor.

“He admits that he’s probably yanked at the door a bit too hard. He didn’t damage it deliberately, this wasn’t a deliberate act.

“He went downstairs to ask for a screwdriver to fix it. He was very quickly asked to leave.”

Magistrates ordered Ramshaw, who pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage, to pay £100 compensation to Supporting Lives.

They also handed him a six-month conditional discharge. There were no court costs or victim surcharge.

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories 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. Click here to subscribe.