A DRUNKEN club regular who vandalised a landlady’s car was caught after she recognised him when he returned for a drink the following day.
Paul Turton, 29, was with another male when they lashed out at licensee Lynda Heath’s car, at the rear of Hetton Victory Club, in Richard Street, on October 11.
Sunderland magistrates heard how £580-worth of damage was caused to Ms Heath’s Renault Scenic, which was parked behind the club in neighbouring John Street.
Prosecutor Maimuna Bappa said that on discovering the vandalism, Ms Heath viewed the premises’ CCTV and saw two men.
Miss Bappa added: “She saw one of them hit the car’s wing mirror with considerable force, into the door frame. The second male then kicked the wing mirror with force and she saw it dangling and damaged.”
Ms Heath passed on the footage to the police.
The next day, when Turton, a dad-of-one, walked into the club, she realised he was one of the males on the footage.
Turton, of Clydesdale Street, Hetton, was arrested and, along with the other man, was offered a caution if he paid for his share of the damage. He failed to do so and was charged with causing criminal damage, which he admitted in court. The other man was dealt with separately.
Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “He has apologised to the victim who he knows very well. He is frequently in the club drinking.”
Ms Gatens said the self-employed scrap metal dealer had been unable to pay for the damage because he had not worked since before Christmas due to appendicitis.
“They thought he had a kidney infection and he had taken Panadol for the pain and then drunk alcohol,” she added.
“He has very little recollection of the incident. It’s not what he would normally do.
“He would not commit this sort of offence against somebody he knew.”
Turton was handed a 12-month community order and was told to pay £290 in compensation, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.