Cheating family man told girlfriend he was married – then smashed up her car

Ayton Village Centre, Washington.

Ayton Village Centre, Washington.

A two-timing dad smashed up a car belonging to his mistress after revealing he was married and dumping her to go back to his wife.

Paul Francis Armstrong, 30, picked up a spade and smashed five windows of the woman’s Renault Clio, during the incident on January 13.

When he realised the error of his ways, he told her he was married. That has led to an argument, which has led to damage being caused

Joanne Gatens, defending

Sunderland magistrates heard Armstrong, from Jarrow, had been staying with his father in Ayton, Washington, during a problem period in his marriage.

The court heard he never told the woman he was married when he met her in December and the pair became an item.

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said Armstrong went to the woman’s home in Concord after the pair had been in a relationship for two months.

He said: “Mr Armstrong was at her home and an argument took place. As a result the injured party says she becomes somewhat scared by his behaviour.

“She ran to her bedroom to get her coat to go to her mother’s and the defendant tried to prevent her from leaving but she managed to get past.

“She hears him say ‘I’m going to hurt your pride and joy’ and he then picked up a spade from the garden proceeded to smash all the windows of the car save for the windscreen.”

Armstrong, whose address was given as care of Sandpiper Close, Washington, pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

The victim said in a statement, read out in court: “I feel unsafe in my own house and worry what will happen in the future. I have bipolar and depression and this incident has made me worse in myself.”

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “Mr Armstrong is a married man who was living separately from his wife in Washington and she was living in Jarrow. He met the injured party in a pub. When he realised the error of his ways, he told her he was married.

“That led to an argument and damage being caused.

“He went to visit her that night to tell her the relationship was over. He’s told her he was going back to his wife and the relationship was over.

“He believes his drink was spiked, as he has no recollection of causing the damage.”

Ms Gatens said Armstrong has embarked on a reconciliation with his wife and has also had anger management and parenting classes in preparation for returning to the family home.

She added that Armstrong had bought the victim a Ford Ka for £400 to make up for the damage caused to her vehicle.

The bench ordered him to pay £300 in compensation, a £120 fine, £60 costs and £20 victim surcharge.