Teenage vandals’ car wrecking spree in Sunderland cost £1,500

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Court story
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THREE teenagers caused £1,500 of damage in a car smashing spree.

Eight cars were attacked in a street in Albany, Washington, in the early hours of September 1.

The group – who cannot be named for legal reasons – ran off but one of them was caught by a police dog and gave officers his pals’ names.

Two of the gang were dealt with outside of court by each agreeing to pay more than £500 compensation to the cars’ owners.

But one – a 16-year-old from Concord –was charged with eight charges of causing criminal damage and pleaded guilty at Sunderland Youth Court.

Ian Simpson, prosecuting, said police found eight cars had been attacked – a Nissan Almera, Landrover Freelander, Citroen C2, two Renault Clios, a Nissan Note, Vauxhall Corsa and a Vauxhall Astra van – leaving the owners with repairs bills totalling £1,512. He added: “He admitted he was one of three males who had damaged all of the eight cars.

“He could not recall who had damaged what.”

Joanne Gatens, defending, said the other teenagers had been allowed to settle the case out of court by paying more than £500 each to the car owners, but the defendant’s mother could not afford the hefty bill.

Mrs Gatens said: “He found himself involved in a situation with a group of friends and got carried along with what they were doing. He is ashamed of his behaviour.

“His mother is a single parent, in receipt of benefits, and receives no financial support from his father. She has another young son and is also supporting him.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said: “This was an appalling spree, causing considerable damage and loss. If you had been an adult, or you had previous convictions, the punishment would have to be much more severe.

“As it is, I have to have regard to the way the other offenders were dealt with and that they were not prosecuted.”

Mr Elsey ordered the teen’s mother to pay out £504 in compensation, while her son must complete a three-month referral order.

He added: “This will be taken out of her benefits. That will be a severe punishment to her.

“You must make sure you do not punish your mother in the future.

“You keep away from the people who led you into this and you do not re-offend.”