Sunderland man slashed ex-girlfriend's clothes after accusing her of 'sleeping around' in angry Bonfire Night bust-up

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court

A man slashed clothes in his girlfriend's wardrobe, damaged her belongings and smashed windows at her home after accusing her of "sleeping around" during an explosive Bonfire Night row.

Richard Price and his partner were split up when she found him in her house, in Sunderland, when she got back after a day out on November 5 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 34-year-old was "drunk" and began making accusations towards the woman.

Prosecutor Vince Ward told the court: "They argued. He accused her of sleeping around.

"She wanted to leave to avoid what she believed was developing into a confrontation.

"When she said to him to pass her coat what he did instead was pick up a Stanley knife and slash clothes in her wardrobe

"She describes him being calm and in control as he did that.

"As she went to leave, after about five minutes, she heard an extraordinarily loud bang. It was a firework going off in the house.

"In interview the defendant was to explain it was an accident, which the prosecution do not dispute."

The court heard the accidental ignition of the firework caused damage to flooring in the property.

Price continued the deliberate damage rampage after the woman left the house.

Mr Ward said: "He broke a window in the front door, broke a front bedroom window, damaged a bedroom door by putting a hole in one of the panels, damaged a television and a smoke alarm."

Price, of Rosslyn Terrace, Sunderland, admitted causing criminal damage.

The court heard the damage to the doors and windows was estimated to be over £1,200.

The cost of replacing the clothes was around £200.

The court heard the victim withdrew support for the prosecution and said all she wanted was for him "to get help".

Price, who has convictions for 117 previous offences, told police he had had four cans of lager and some wine during the course of that afternoon.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Price had made "strenous efforts" to seek help with his mental health, which was under strain following the death of his brother.

Mr Adams said: "He has actually done something about the problems he was bringing about because of his mental ill health."

The court heard the couple have now reconciled and Price has paid for or repaired the damage he did.

Judge Robert Spragg sentenced Price to a community order for 12 months with rehabilitation requirements.

The judge told him: "You have struggled with your mental health since the death of your brother two years ago.

"You have recognised you have a number of issues you need to deal with and you are making good progress with those issues."