Sunderland painter and decorator in court after threatening his boss over covid furlough cash

A Sunderland painting and decorating firm worker brushed his boss up the wrong way after finding his Covid furlough support reduced during the pandemic.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 4:55 am

Gary Deighton, 42, threatened the owner of the company he worked for, over the phone on Friday, November 27.

He then turned up at the firm’s premises, still equally enraged, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

After making further threats, Deighton, of Fairlands East, Roker, Sunderland, booted a door, causing £50 of damage.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

And on Wednesday, December 2, he made a second call in which he threatened to go to the businessman’s home.

The dad has now been ordered to stay away from his victim – and his business premises – for two years under the terms of a restraining order.

Prosecutor Sarah Malkinson said: “The defendant was employed by the decorating firm.

“He was furloughed in 2020 and was getting contributions towards his salary.

“In October, his benefits started to reduce which caused him to become aggressive.

“He phoned his employer and made threats down the phone. He then turned up at the offices, and was threatening.

“On leaving, he kicked the door, causing the bottom to crack. It caused damage estimated at £50.”

Ms Malkinson said Deighton then phoned up the following week, making the threat to go to his employer’s home if his support remained culled.

Deighton pleaded guilty to common assault, causing criminal damage and sending an offensive communication.

Greg Flaxen, defending, opposed the imposition of a restraining order, and of Deighton’s crimes, added: “It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

“It’s a dispute between employer and employee. He’s been on furlough, there’s an issue regarding employment law.

“He accepts making the phone call and he accepts attending the office.

“There was an argument and there’s a suggestion there was a push, but there wasn’t, but I accept that the injured party may have felt that unlawful force may be used.

“He just wants this over with, it’s dragged on. He has a new job.”

District Judge Paul Currer also fined Deighton £250, with £85 court costs, and ordered him to pay £50 compensation.

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on SAFC and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.