Drunk threw bricks at innocent worker’s car while collecting debt at Sunderland hostel

South Northumbria Magistrates Court in South Shields.
South Northumbria Magistrates Court in South Shields.

A drunk threw bricks at a car belonging to a man who he wrongly believed was going to attack him.

Darren Stokoe caused more than £500 of damage to a Vauxhall Astra belonging to a member of staff at the Swan Lodge hostel in the East End of Sunderland.

Stokoe went to Swan Lodge for repayment of a £40 debt owed to him by a resident, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

“He threw two bricks,” said Lee Poppett, prosecuting. “One damaged the roof and bonnet of the Astra, the other smashed its windscreen.

“The cost of the damage has yet to be assessed, but it’s certainly more than £500.

“The victim plans to make an insurance claim, but he has a £475 excess.

“He says the incident made him angry, he has three children he needs to get to school, and now has no car to do it.”

Stokoe, 26, of Hereford Road, Hill View, Sunderland, admitted criminal damage on September 6.

Ian Jordan, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Stokoe is a former resident of Swan Lodge. He went there to recover a debt owed by a current resident.

“The victim has nothing to do with that, but Mr Stokoe wrongly thought he was going to be attacked.

“He had drunk a great deal, having been upset by seeing his former partner’s new boyfriend pushing his child in a push chair.

“Mr Stokoe was released from his last sentence earlier this year, and has been living with his mother since.

“He knows it would be best if he kept out of the centre of Sunderland, where he inevitably comes across associates who drink and take drugs.”

Stokoe was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, including 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £475 compensation to his victim.