Grieving son of murdered dad smashed school window as cry for help
A grieving son whose father was brutally murdered four years ago smashed a school window as a cry for help.
Kevin Gaunt, 35, has now been told to pay almost £1,500 in compensation after he hurled a brick at a Portacabin belonging to Kepier School in Houghton last month.
He told police he did it to get arrested, because he needed help with his mental health, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Prosecutor Lee Poppett said police were called to the school at 9.25pm on November 8.
“Mr Gaunt has thrown a brick through a Portacabin window at Kepier School,” he said.
“He approached police in the police station car park around the corner and handed himself in to police.
“He advised them as to what he’d done and said he wanted to be remanded in custody and, if not, he would damage the window of the police station.”
In his interview, he said: “I hoyed a brick through the window.
“It wasn’t the first time.
“I threw some stones but that didn’t break the window. I then threw a brick.
“I was walking about and I was paranoid.”
Mr Poppet said the cost of replacing the window was £1,374 including VAT.
Gaunt, of Toward Road, Hendon, admitted criminal damage.
He has 76 previous convictions for 142 separate offences, the court was told, including five for criminal damage.
Gaunt is currently subject to post-sentence supervision by the Probation Service, following a spell behind bars.
Ian Hodgson, defending, said: “He hasn’t had a good time the last five to six years.
“His mum died of cancer and his dad was murdered by his sister’s boyfriend in 2012.
“He had been back in East Rainton, seeing his sister and brothers.
“He goes to get a bus. Someone gives him something and, in his own words, it makes him paranoid.
“The Portacabin is actually on the main road.
“He said he was a paranoid and felt as though he needed some help and treatment and said ‘if you don’t arrest me I’m going to break the police station window’.”
Gaunt was given a 12-month conditional discharge and was told to pay £1,445 in compensation.