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Man sentenced after criminal damage spree at Simla Spice in Torquay

By HECAbbott  |  Posted: August 19, 2016


A car window is smashed in Torquay

A MAN who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to windows at Simla Spice restaurant and to vehicles in Torquay has been ordered to complete unpaid work in the community and pay some compensation.

Samuel Harrison, 28, of Occombe Valley Road in Paignton, pleaded guilty to seven charges of criminal damage when he appeared at Torquay Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Harrison, jointly with another, damaged windows at Simla Spice Indian restaurant in Torwood Street to the value of £5,692.80 on March 29.

The owners of Simla Spice were left 'shocked and saddened' after 12 of their 13 large plate glass windows were damaged at the time of the attack.

On the same occasion, the court hear, they also caused £100 of damage to a Land Rover Range Rover, £262 of damage to a Volkswagen camper van and £192 of damage to a Volkswagen pick-up all owned by the same person.

They also caused £75 of damage to a Volkswagen Golf, £75 of damage to a Mini Cooper and £50 of damage to a Fiat belonging to three further individuals.

Prosecuting, Chris Bittlestone said: "It seems as if the other person had an issue with money owed to him by restaurant staff.

"After spending time on the town, they decided to take out their ire on a group of vehicles. These were innocent – nothing to do with the restaurant.

"Then they smashed the windows at the restaurant. Rocks were used. A substantial amount of damage was caused."

He referred to Harrison's 'impetuousness' and 'lack of judgement' and admitted it would be 'futile' to ask the magistrates to award £6,000 in compensation. He added: "I'd rather we forfeit costs and the victims get some compensation."

Ben Darby, mitigating, said Harrison had an 'impulsive nature'.

A pre-sentence report prepared by the probation officer was read aloud in court.

The court heard that Harrison's grandfather died at Christmas and his grandmother died a few months later. He turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with his feelings but the side effects included aggressive behaviour and difficulty managing emotions.

The probation officer said that Harrison 'described himself as 10 out of 10 on a scale of drunkenness'.

He had been at a pub before meeting up with the other individual and 'going along with the suggestion to damage property' as he was 'emotional and angry'.

The court heard that Harrison was not currently working but had a range of jobs in the past including valet and roofer.

His relationship broke down and he planned to move to Scotland to resume a relationship with the mother of his children.

The magistrates ordered Harrison to complete 150 hours of unpaid work in the community, and complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity, in the next 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £300 in compensation to the first victim, £75 to the second, £75 to the third and £50 to the fourth. He was ordered to pay £250 to the fifth victim, as a contribution towards the insurance excess for the restaurant window. Court costs were waived.


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