South Shields man fears he’s being targeted by vandals because he’s gay

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.
Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

A gay South Tyneside man fears he’s being targeted by yobs who attacked his car.

Paul Dawson says he found his car vandalised on Friday morning outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

Paul Dawson fears he's being targeted by yobs because he's gay.

Paul Dawson fears he's being targeted by yobs because he's gay.

The windows of the black Renault Clio had been smashed and white paint was poured over the interior and exterior.

The ignition and door locks had also been glued.

The 33-year-old said he was disgusted when he saw what had happened the car, which he bought only two months ago for £1,000.

He said: “My neighbour knocked and asked if I’d seen my car. I didn’t know what she was talking about at first, then when I saw it I couldn’t believe it.

The only thing I can think of is that I’m being targeted because of my sexuality and that someone is trying to get me to move.

Paul Dawson

“I’ve only had it a couple of months and it cost me £1,000, but that’s a lot of money to me. The garage has sent me an estimate of over £6,000 for the repairs and my insurance doesn’t cover it – I can’t afford that.”

Mr Dawson was also targeted in his home in November 2013.

He captured a hooded yob on CCTV taping a firework to his window and setting it alight before fleeing the scene.

His window didn’t shatter, but Mr Dawson says he believes that was the intention and feared that it could have been a lot worse.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

He said: “I’m just devastated. I can’t understand why someone would do things like this to another person.

“The only thing I can think of is that I’m being targeted because of my sexuality and that someone is trying to get me to move.

“I feel victimised. First the firework and now this. None of the other cars in the street had been touched and they chose the house with CCTV to attach the firework to, so I feel like I’m being targeted.

“I don’t feel unsafe in myself, but I feel like my property isn’t safe.”

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

He added: “I use the car to get around and visit my family and now I feel like I’m stranded.

“If I get another car I’ll have to think about getting a drive out the back to keep it on so it doesn’t get damaged again, but how I supposed to afford that? This has left me completely skint.”

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Police are investigating reports of criminal damage on a car parked in Newcastle Road, South Shields, which occurred between 11pm on Thursday and 9.30am on Friday.

“The offenders smashed the car’s windows and poured paint over the vehicle before they made off.

“We are appealing for any witnesses to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 extension 69191 quoting the reference number 32021.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

Paul Dawson's car was vandalised outside his home in Newcastle Road, South Shields.