Leicester

Vandals who attacked 86 cars in New Year spree are jailed

Damage to a car
Image caption Some people who had been away for New Year returned to find their cars had been damaged

Four men who vandalised more than 80 vehicles during an all-night rampage across Leicestershire have been jailed.

The friends, aged 18 to 23, were each given an eight month custodial sentence after admitting causing more than £21,000 worth of damage.

Using a crowbar, a bent blade and a screwdriver they slashed tyres and smashed windscreens and windows.

The attacks happened overnight between 1 and 2 January in two towns and 19 villages.

Adam Guy, 23, Kieran Painter, 18, Lewis Watts, 22, and Tyron Cotterill, 20, all pleaded guilty to criminal damage and were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court.

Recorder Justin Wigoder described it as "a spree to cause criminal damage over much of the county".

Image caption Residents across Leicestershire found their car windows had been smashed

In total, 86 cars were damaged between about 22:00 on 1 January to 06:30 on the following morning.

In sentencing, Recorder Wigoder said: "I don't know why you all decided to do this. Whether is was because you intended to damaged one car and then damage others to simply cover your tracks, or whether it was the severe enjoyment of hearing the glass smash."

He said it was the length, breadth and scale of the criminal damage which made the offending so serious.

"The sentence needs to be one of immediate imprisonment."

Guy, of Stirling Road, Melton, and Painter, of Morley Close, Melton, were given eight months in prison.

Watts, of Nottingham Road, Melton, was handed eight months plus an additional four for breaching an existing community order.

Cotterill, of Butterwick Drive, Beaumont Leys, was given an additional three months to his eight-month sentence for dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for 17 months.

Some of the worst affected areas were Thurmaston, where 15 vehicles were damaged, Syston, where five were vandalised, and East Goscote where eight vehicles were targeted.

Image caption Tyres were slashed on many of the vehicles

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