A VANDAL who left a trail of shattered car wing mirrors behind him when he went on the rampage in York has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Aaron Phillips lashed out at parked vehicles as he passed them in Grosvenor Terrace in Clifton, on March 7, said Cathy Turnbull, prosecuting at York Magistrates Court.
But the sound of the wing mirrors being broken alerted the owner of one of the vandalised cars, and he called police, followed Phillips from his house up Scarborough Terrace and Filey Terrace and pointed the vandal out to officers when they arrived.
By then, Phillips had vandalised 11 cars and run up a repair bill of more than £710.
Released on bail, Phillips went on a shoplifting spree, stealing meat from six convenience stores and the Asda supermarket, between April 7 and 10.
Phillips, 23, of Aldbrough House, Brook Street, The Groves, pleaded guilty to 11 charges of criminal damage and seven of theft.
He also admitted one count of breaching a 12-month conditional discharge imposed in September for obstructing a police officer by giving a false name.
York magistrates gave him a 12-week prison sentence and suspended it for 12 months, on condition that he did 200 hours’ unpaid work and 12 months’ supervision.
He must also pay £381.85 compensation to the owners of the cars and some of the shops.
Magistrates said each victim should get 50 per cent back. The law limits the amount of compensation that magistrates can order to be paid according to the defendant’s income. The court heard Phillips lives on benefits.
His solicitor Julian Tanikal said Phillips couldn’t remember why he had vandalised the cars.
He had been going through a difficult time because he had lost his job laying floors, the solicitor said.
“He turned to his family for help and assistance and he got in return an addiction,” said the solicitor. He had committed crimes to fund his habit.
Since the shop thefts, he had stopped using drugs and was now anti-substance misuse, said Mr Tanikal.
The court was told that Phillips had stolen food, mostly meat, from the Morrisons shop in Spurriergate, the Co-op shop in East Parade, the Sainsbury’s store in Micklegate and the Spar store in Lowther Street, as well as from the Asda store in Layerthorpe.