South Shields man caused criminal damage at supported living centre after warning there would be 'hell on' over missing money claims

A supported living resident warned there would “be hell on” after claiming cash had been stolen from his room, before causing criminal damage in angry outburst.

To back up his words with deeds, Ethan Russell, 19, threw a glass through a window in anger at the property in Tyne Dock, South Shields.

After his arrest, Russell, who lives at the centre, told police he had “no remorse” for his actions, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

Russell, who suffers from Asperger’s and has learning difficulties, had done similar damage before but had only received police cautions.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

But his crime, at 5.20pm on Tuesday, May 18, which caused £300 damage, was the final straw – and he was arrested and charged.

Prosecutor Niamh Reading said: “It is supported accommodation. He asked for access to his room, and access was given by a staff member with a master key.

“He paced around the room. He was asked what he was looking for, and he said, ‘My money’.

“He added, ‘If anyone has been in my room and taken my money, they’ll be hell on’.

“The staff member retreated downstairs, and heard smashing and saw glass falling outside.

“The defendant gave a ‘no comment’ police interview, but did say, ‘I’m glad I did it, I have no remorse’.

“He said that he did it because someone had stolen his money.”

Jason Smith, defending, said Russell did not have access to money other than from a daily allowance.

He added: “Young Ethan is in care accommodation. He honestly believed that his money had been taken.

“He became anxious and upset. He threw an item, not intentionally to break the window, but the window was broken.

“He’s then spent eight-and-a-half hours in police custody. The home has had the window repaired.

“Eight-and-a-half hours in custody for this young man has been hell.”

Russell was not in court for the hearing but pleaded guilty in his absence to causing criminal damage.

Magistrates handed him a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay the home £300 in compensation.

He must also pay £85 court costs and a £22 victim surcharge.

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