Pensioner vandalised four cars after ‘barking dogs’ kept him awake

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court

An elderly man vandalised four parked cars in South Tyneside - because he was unable to sleep.

Magistrates heard James Wiley, 72, ran a sharp object down the side of the cars as he walked past them in a drunken stupor.

Wiley, of Northbourne Road, Jarrow, told South Shields Magistrates' Court he had no dispute with the owners of the cars, but had been unable to sleep due to barking dogs.

Eve McDonnell, prosecuting, said four cars were vandalised - a Ford Kuga, a Vauxhall Combi van, a Mini Cooper, and a Volkswagen Golf.

She said: "The Ford and Vauxhall belong to the same owner.

"She said the car was her pride and joy, and she liked to keep it in top condition. The vandalism was upsetting, inconvenient, and expensive."

She added: "When interviewed by police, Mr Wiley accepted he had scratched the cars, but could not remember doing so.

"He said he had been drinking heavily at the time, but had since stopped."

Wiley admitted four charges of criminal damage on January 28.

The court heard he was of previous good character.

Representing himself, Wiley said: "I was being kept up all hours at the time by barking dogs.

"I tried to block that out with drink, but it didn't work.

"I'm very sorry for what I did, I understand it must have been very upsetting for the owners of the cars.

"The council is doing its best to find me alternative accommodation."

The bench ordered Wiley to pay £420 compensation to the owner of the Kuga and the Vauxhall, £100, to the owner of the Mini, and £150 to the owner of the Vauxhall.

Wiley said he would pay the money straight away.