Man had 'Basil Fawlty' moment when he smashed up his own car with hammer while woman and child were inside

A South Tyneside man had a ‘Basil Fawlty’ moment when he repeatedly bashed his own car with a hammer, a court heard.

By Gareth Crickmer
Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:10 am

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Marc Usher, 46, of Whitburn Road, Cleadon, was spotted hitting the window of his VW Golf with the tool at teatime on Saturday, June 15.

But in reality his actions bore little resemblance to a scene from TV comedy Fawlty Towers, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court - for a woman and child were inside.

Usher, who pleaded guilty to affray, was spotted striking the vehicle by members of the public who also noticed the woman crying.

Prosecutor Muneeb Akram said: “The matter comes to the attention of two passers-by.

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“They are taking a walk at around 4.30pm when they see a Volkswagen Golf and see through the driver’s window that there’s a female sat in driver’s seat who appears upset and sobbing.

“They return to speak to the woman. The defendant is then seen with a hammer, repeatedly hitting a window of the vehicle. There’s the complainant and a child in the car.”

Gerry Armstrong, defending, said: “A breakdown was the root cause. He was hellbent on smashing the car, his own car. It was like something from an old Basil Fawlty comedy programme.

“The injured party has made it clear that he has never been violent and is a good father, but it is a matter of concern.”

The case was adjourned to South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on January 10 and the court heard the starting sentence for the offence is 12 weeks’ custody.