Three disgraceful men have narrowly escaped prison sentences after they terrorised a woman and her young daughter following the breakdown of a relationship.
Derby Crown Court heard on Monday, February 29, how Andrew Davies, 40, Grove Gardens, Brimington, Chesterfield, had separated with his former partner before he instigated a series of attacks with Patrick Sludds, 47, of Fern Avenue, Middlecroft, Staveley, and Garon Harrison, 24, of Cornwall Drive, Brimington, Chesterfield.
Prosecuting barrister Sarah Munro said: “The three defendants have all pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit criminal damage between September and October, 2014.
“Davies had been in an up-and-down relationship which ended and he went on holiday and his ex-partner went away with a friend.
“This defendant was angry with her and she said if he contacted her she would call police and his reply was abusive and angry. He told a friend he had not done with her yet.”
Ms Munro told how Davies’ ex-partner twice had car tyres slashed, suffered a smashed window, spotted a man in her garden and had paint-stripper poured over her car.
Davies’ ex-partner installed CCTV after her tyres had been slashed, according to Ms Munro, and she saw a man in her garden.
Ms Munro added that Sludds accepted he had been in the garden and he had been there with a view to causing damage but played no other part in the conspiracy.
The court heard how Davies’ ex-partner also discovered paint-stripper on her car after she had spotted a van passing her house several times.
Ms Munro added: “She was scared of being at home and asked friends and neighbours around one evening and after midnight they saw a man throwing a brick and smashing a window which landed on a settee where her child was sleeping.
“The friends chased the man and it was Harrison and he told them he had been paid £40 to commit the offence by someone he didn’t know.”
The court heard how Harrison fled after someone turned up in a blue van, who has never been identified, and he waved a spade saying they would be back but Harrison was traced by DNA from a Balaclava he left behind.
Davies’ ex-partner stated that she became frightened someone would come back to the house and she and her eight-year-old daughter had become afraid of living in their own home.
Defence barrister Andre Vout said Davies accepts instigating the situation.
Mr Vout said: “He knows it’s not about slashed tyres and broken windows. It’s about people being terrorised and he is deeply sorry for what he did.
“He accepts what he did was entirely wrong and he’s particularly distressed about the distress caused to the youngster.
“The unhappy fact is that the particular mix of this lady and Davies was toxic and brought about feelings of jealousy and unhappiness in a man struggling with depression.”
Felicity Campbell, defending, said Harrison did not know there was a child in the house and this has distressed him.
Defence barrister Katrina Wilson said Sludds made a foolish decision to get involved.
Judge John Burgess sentenced Davies to eight months of custody suspended for 12 months with supervision, a Building Better Relationships Programme and 200 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £2,766.61 in compensation. Judge Burgess also imposed a restraining order on Davies.
Harrison was sentenced to six months of custody suspended for 12 months with 120 hours of unpaid work and a three-month curfew.
Sludds was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and £750 costs.