Two men to appear in court over Washington AFC football pitch vandalism

Two men are due in court charged with tearing up football pitches by deliberately driving a car over the grass.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 12:44 pm
Vandals left a trail of destruction at Washington AFC's pitch

Thousands of pounds of damage were caused to the Northern Area Playing Fields in Washington, home to Washington AFC, after the pitches were cut up by rutted tyre tracks in October 2020.

The incident prompted plans that have recently been approved by Sunderland City Council to erect a new high fence, and gates to deter future damage at the site.

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Washington AFC Head of Football, Gary Sykes at the destroyed pitches last year

Now two men – from Ryton and Morpeth – are due to appear in court charged with a string of offences relating to the damage.

Sergeant Patrick Scott, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is always disappointing to see such mindless damage and there’s no question that it caused significant anguish for the club and those in the community.

“As a result, we are committed to ensure anybody found to be responsible is brought to justice for these crimes.

“I would ask that the public avoid speculation and respect the live criminal proceedings that are ongoing, but I would like to thank the community for their cooperation and support over the last six months.

“We will not tolerate intentional acts of criminal damage and will continue to pursue the minority of individuals whose irresponsible and reckless actions bring misery to those who live in our area.”

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Fiona Brown, Executive Director of Neighbourhoods for Sunderland City Council, said the council would work with the police to target this type of anti-social behaviour.

She said: “It is disappointing to know that a small minority of residents continue to show little respect for our city, and spoil things for the rest of the community.

“We can and we will take action against anyone who is caught taking part in anti-social behaviour.”

A 20-year-old male is to answer charges of dangerous driving, criminal damage and no insurance use, while a 24-year-old male will answer charges of aid and abet dangerous driving, criminal damage and no insurance use.

Both men are due to appear before magistrates in South Tyneside in June.

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