South Tyneside man put ‘child’s life at risk’ by damaging car

The man admitted a charge of causing harassment without violence.

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A South Tyneside man who put a child’s life at risk by damaging a neighbouring couple’s car has been ordered to stay away from them.

Joseph Cook, 27, of Cedar Drive, Hedworth, Jarrow, was hit with a two-year restraining order which forbids contact.

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His male victim accused Cook of placing his son in danger by his destructive act, committed between Wednesday, June 7, and Sunday, June 11.

The dad found the nearside tyre of his motor had been wrecked overnight – leading him to also fear being out of doors in the early hours in case of further incident.

Borough magistrates heard Cook was identified as the perpetrator, resulting in him admitting a charge of causing harassment without violence.

After issuing the restraining order, they warned him about the consequences of breaching it, which could include imprisonment.

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Prosecutor Emma O’Hegarty said: “The victims say they have had issues with a neighbour.

“There was damage to the nearside tyre and the defendant was identified from this.

“The victim also states that he had not been bothered at 2.30am leaving home but now feels on edge.

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“He says the damage to the vehicle could have caused an accident when his child was in the car.”

Mrs Hegarty added: “The defendant has four previous convictions from five offences, his last a drug driving in 2021.

“This offence has a starting point of a medium level community order, with a range from a low-level community order to 12 weeks’ custody.

“The crown is requesting compensation of £240 and a restraining order, not to communicate or interfere with his victims.”

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David Forrester, defending, told magistrates: “There’s very little to say. It’s a case with a starting point in the community band.

“You’ve read a quite detailed expose of what was happening. It was potentially dangerous.

“He’s going through his own issues. I don’t object to the community order, it’s appropriate.”

Cook was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 25 rehabilitation days. He was fined £80 and must pay compensation of £240.

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