Watch shocking CCTV footage of men smashing car with golf clubs at couple’s Sunderland home in dead of night
Shocking CCTV footage shows three men smashing up a car at a Sunderland couple’s home at 2.30am.
The dramatic video shows the men swinging golf clubs and smashing car windows in the despicable and repeated attack.
The chairman of the magistrates said the case ‘is one of the worst examples of that behaviour we have ever seen’.
The victims – one of whom had been standing outside in her dressing gown when the men showed up – have been left terrified in their own home.
However, despite £6,000 of damage being caused, just one man has been identified and brought to justice.
Connor French, 22, of West View, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and threatening behaviour and appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.
Prosecutor Anthony Pettengell said: “French and two others attended the property on March 6 with golf clubs and attacked a car and van and French doors to the house.
“When [the woman victim] went out she found the young persons running around the cars and from her perspective towards her with the golf clubs.”
CCTV footage of the incident clearly shows the youths smashing the windows of a Mercedes car and van with golf clubs.
In one clip shown in court but not released by police, she can be seen standing outside her house. She sees the men running towards her with golf clubs and flees back inside.
In an emotional statement she said: “This incident has had a massive psychological effect on me.
“Every time I hear a noise outside I have to get up and look out the window and make sure everything is OK.
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“I do not feel safe in my own home which is the place you should feel safe.”
Her husband said: “We are a destroyed family on tenterhooks and plead with the court to deal with this.”
Defence solicitor Vic Laffey said: “There is not really any justification for smashing someone’s car windows or patio doors. It is just a ridiculous thing to do.
“Why he’s the only one to have ended up in court I have no idea.
“Before you know it a 22-year-old boy who has never been in trouble before finds himself in a situation where he might even go to jail.
“He’s rightly ashamed of that.”
Passing sentence, chairman of the bench Malcolm Grady said: “We have to say it is one of the worst examples of that behaviour we have ever seen.
“We do believe it has crossed the custody threshold but we are not going to impose a custodial sentence today.”
Mr Grady said it was behaviour that French was ‘very unlikely to repeat’.
But he added: “You have to place yourself in the position that if it happened to you, how would you feel?
“If your personal property was destroyed and you were put in fear of your life, how would you feel?”
French was given a 12-month community order including 15 rehabilitation days and must complete 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum amount that can be imposed.
He must also pay £1,500 in compensation for the damage caused. A restraining order was also imposed.