Grandfather's nail revenge on social club

A 70-year-old granddad has been hauled before the courts after CCTV footage captured him dropping roofing nails outside a village social club in order to puncture car tyres.

A 70-year-old granddad has been hauled before the courts after CCTV footage captured him dropping roofing nails outside a village social club in order to puncture car tyres.

Trevor Mallett caused hundreds of pounds of damage after showering the inch-long roofing tacks at the car park entrances of Hethersett Social Club in Queen's Road.

Yesterday the father-of-three was found guilty of criminal damage after magistrates said: “There was potential consequence of danger given that is was nails in tyres.”

Mallett was cleared of nine other counts of criminal damage caused by nails puncturing Hethersett villagers' cars, a problem which the court heard had been going on for the past two years.

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Today his victim, former social club manager Ian Forkes, said he was pleased with the verdict after suffering punctures to several of his tyres.

Speaking after the case, he said: “I'm pleased he's been found guilty. There have been a lot of strange goings on for a long time.”

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Mallett, a former roofer, from South Croft in Hethersett, was caught on camera which led to the arrest of the grandfather-of-two.

But Mallett, a father-of-three who has lived in his house for 44 years, was cleared of nine other counts of dropping the nails around South Croft, West Croft and Recreation Road.

Hundreds of pounds of damage had been reported by drivers in Hethersett, who said entire tyres had to be replaced because the nails caused so much damage with each puncture it was not possible to be repaired.

Several drivers who had suffered punctures caused by the nails gave evidence at the two-day long case at Norwich Magistrates Court but only the charges relating to Ian Forkes, the former social club manager, resulted in a conviction.

The court heard that Mr Forkes, a father of two from Admiral's Way in Hethersett, started inspecting the entrances of the social club this year after reports of drivers with punctures from using the car park and found the inch-long roofing tacks on the ground.

Mr Forkes even hid behind a can bank early on the morning of Friday, March 13 to see Mallett chucking the tacks out of his pocket across the entrances.

And then when CCTV footage at the social club recorded Mallett walking past the car park entrances on Friday, March 6 and Friday, March 13, Mr Forkes believed he could see the defendant throwing the nails and called the police. Mallet, whose wife Daphne died several years ago, was subsequently arrested and when police searched his property they found a bucket of roofing nails in his shed.

Mr Forkes told the court: “The roofing tacks were spread all over both entrances on previous occasions.

“When I checked at 11.30pm on Thursday, March 5 there was nothing, then when I checked in the morning they were scattered across the car park entrances.

“Then when I stood behind the can bank on Friday, March 13 I saw the man walk past and scatter the nails. I didn't know this man but when I showed the CCTV footage to my secretary, Carol Keable, she knew who he was.”

No motive was given for the reason Mallett had targeted the social club to throw the nails, but Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said there had been a parking dispute between Mrs Keable and Mallett two years earlier.

Mrs Keable, 66, said when giving evidence in the case: “There have been issues of nails for over two years. We have picked them up in South Croft and Recreation Road.

“Mr Mallett and I used to be very friendly but for the last couple of years there has been no communication between us.

“There was an incident where my neighbour parked opposite his gate and that upset him.”

The court heard from PC Glenn Hambling who had arrested and interviewed Mallett after investigating the case.

He said: “I seized a bucket of roofing nails and various nails from the shed. The bucket was easily accessible on the floor.

“When interviewed the defendant admitted he had had a falling out with a neighbour who worked at the social club.

“The defendant commented and said he didn't think he did it.”

Chair of the magistrates Brian Winchester said the bench had found Mallett guilty of three of the charges and ordered him to pay �300 compensation to Mr Forkes, pay �100 in court costs and gave him three two-year conditional discharges to run concurrently.

He added: “I have to say Mr Mallett in my 23 years of experience as a magistrate this is probably one of the most involved cases that I have had to deal with.

“The aggravating feature is it was in a public area and over a period of four to five weeks. The harm caused was damage to property and there was potential consequence of danger.”

In mitigation, Chris Brown, defending Mallett, said: “Mr Mallett has taken leave of his senses. Loss of character to a man like Mr Mallett is a punishment in itself.”

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