Man who ‘keyed’ 13 cars and caused more than £10k damage spared jail

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A Stowmarket man who used a key to cause more than £10,000 worth of damage to 13 parked cars on his way home from a night out has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

Sentencing George Tanase to a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years, Judge David Goodin said it was unlikely that he would be in a financial position in the foreseeable future to make any meaningful financial contribution to his victims.

“You got drunk and in drink you thought it might be amusing to damage a whole line of cars on your way home,” said the judge.

“I note your wish to remain in the UK and whether you are here or in Romania you are not going to make yourself popular if you repeat this sort of behaviour,” he added.

Tanase, 22, of Gipping Place, Bury Road, admitted vandalising 13 cars belonging to 12 people on October 8 last year.

In addition to the suspended sentence he was given a six-month curfew and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

Nicola Merrick, prosecuting, said that at around 1.20am on October 8 the owner of one of the damaged cars heard someone scratching his car with a key and looked out of his bedroom window.

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He went outside with another man and followed Tanase along the road as he “keyed” a number of vehicles on his way home to Gipping Road.

Shortly before Tanase got to Gipping Road the two men shouted out to him and when he stopped they detained him and called the police.

Miss Merrick said a total of 13 vehicles were damaged by Tanase including three cars belonging to one family.

The total damage caused was £10,000.

After his arrest Tanase said he had drunk more than normal and had no recollection of causing the damage to the cars.

Peter Barlex, for Tanase, said his client was a Romanian national who came to this country in 2015 and was living with his brother-in -law.

“He realises the inconvenience and distress these offences would have caused,” said Mr Barlex.