Man who vandalised and damaged Harrogate property felt he was 'being watched'

Tinney later admitted to police that he had damaged the property.
Tinney later admitted to police that he had damaged the property.

A 53-year-old man who caused nearly £1,000 worth of damage to a Harrogate property because he felt he was 'being watched', has appeared in court this week.

Mark Anthony Tinney, 53, of Franklin Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage to property at Harrogate Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, June 13.

The court heard how Tinney had caused a total of £959.21 worth of damage to the gate of a neighbouring property on Mayfield Grove and the resident's car, on two separate dates in March this year.

On behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, Prosecuting solicitor, Alison Wilson said: "On Wednesday March 22 at around 6.30pm the victim parked his motor vehicle at the side of his home and was upstairs when he heard a loud bang.

"He saw a neighbour he knows as 'Mark' walk up to the passenger side of the vehicle and kick the door.

"The victim was aware the vehicle was in good condition prior to this incident.

"On Wednesday the 1st of March the victim was watching his CCTV screens and saw the defendant write something on the gate.

"On looking at the gate, the word 'C***' had been written on the gate in large capital letters.

The court heard that the victim had asked Mr Tinney if he had written on the gate and kicked the car, but Mr Tinney denied responsibility for both incidents.

However Mr Tinney later admitted to the victim he had kicked the car "out of frustration" and had written on the gate but "thought that it would come off with a good clean".

The damage to the gate had been estimated at £170 while the damage to the car had been totaled at £789.21

Defending solicitor, Andrew Tinning, told the court that Tinney's frustrations had been borne out of a feeling of invaded privacy, rather than a personal issue with his neighbour.

Mr Tinning said: "It's more a sense of his privacy being invaded by the claimant.

"He tells me he has been living at the address for many years and that the claimant has only moved to the address in recent years or so and put up CCTV cameras and the defendant feels that he is being watched by the claimant on them, and he's not happy about that.

"He said he was intending only to pretend to kick the car because he knew the claimant would be watching.

Mr Tinning asked Magistrates to give Tinney consideration for eventually admitting to his crimes and making a submission to police.

Mr Tinning also highlighted that Mr Tinney had already been given a community order this year and disqualified from driving for three years earlier this year for a drink driving charge.

Mr Tinning said: "For many years he worked as a plasterer.

"His actions have lead to him struggling to find work and he is claiming benefits at this moment."

Mr Tinney's probation officer also told the court his "main issue is addressing his alcohol use".

Magistrate David Gravells handed Tinney a new 12 month community order to complete 60 hours unpaid work, which he said had been reduced in light of his guilty plea.

Mr Gravells also made Tinney pay compensation of £520, £170 for the gate and £350 as a contribution towards the car.

He told Tinney: "We are not making you pay the cost of a surcharge in light of your income.

"It is a lot of money, if you get a job you can pay it off sooner."

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