Town tyre slasher jailed

A MAN who slashed more than 60 tyres on a single night's spree of car vandalism in Harwich has been jailed for six months.Defiant Philip Cecil, 50, yesterday still denied the 66 offences for which he was arrested in the early hours of January 13, 2002, and for which he was subsequently convicted.

By Roddy Ashworth

A MAN who slashed more than 60 tyres on a single night's spree of car vandalism in Harwich has been jailed for six months.

Defiant Philip Cecil, 50, yesterday still denied the 66 offences for which he was arrested in the early hours of January 13, 2002, and for which he was subsequently convicted.

Magistrates heard that on the night the criminal damage took place, Cecil was seen leaning down beside a vehicle by a witness in a nearby house at about 12.50am.


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When challenged, Cecil dropped a knife he was carrying, the court was told.

Prosecuting, Shini Cooksley said: "A small knife was retrieved from the garden. The police describe it as a kitchen knife with a blade of two inches."

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Cecil was arrested and questioned by police, at which time he insisted he had nothing to do with the slashings, which caused more than £5,000 damage to cars in a number of roads.

Ms Cooksley said: "He said he was walking his dog and was stopped in the street. He simply denied it."

Last month, Cecil, of Victoria Street, Dovercourt, was found guilty of 66 counts of criminal damage and one count of possessing a bladed article at Harwich.

Mitigating for Cecil yesterday, Trevor Linn said: "He maintains his innocence with respect to the offences of which he has been convicted.

"What I would say on his behalf is that the matters go back to January 2002. They are substantially stale and have been hanging over his head for a substantial period of time."

He added that Cecil suffered from very bad periods of depression and anxiety.

"In the short term his greatest concern is to get a roof over his head. He also has some plans to try and join some family in Mexico.

"He is also not a shirker. He has had a number of jobs in the past."

Noting his client's previous convictions, Mr Linn said before the slashing of the tyres Cecil had not committed any acts of criminal damage since 2000 – he had kept out of trouble until 2002, he said.

Sentencing Cecil, chairman of the bench Barry Hawes said: "We have listened very carefully to what has been said.

"We have decided the offences are so serious, custody is the only way to deal with these matters.

"You went out with a knife and carried out an appalling number of vicious attacks on vehicles."

For the 66 counts of criminal damage, Cecil was jailed for six months. He was also jailed for six months for carrying a bladed article. The sentences are to run concurrently, magistrates ruled.

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