Belfast Telegraph

Man who damaged 18 cars in alcohol-fuelled vandalism rampage given maximum community service sentence

By Alan Erwin

A man who damaged 18 different cars in a drink-fuelled vandalism spree has been handed a maximum community service sentence.

Jason Johnston (22) was warned today he could be sent to jail if he doesn't complete the 240 hours imposed for the early morning rampage in north Belfast.

Wing mirrors were kicked off as the vehicles were attacked in the Ballygomartin Road area on April 13 this year.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard the total cost of repairs ran to more than £3,500.

Johnston, of Black Mountain Park in the city, admitted 18 counts of causing criminal damage.

A judge was told his drink may have been spiked before the episode.

Financial compensation had previously been suggested as a way of dealing with the case.

But defence solicitor Jim Hillis indicated that was no longer an option.

He described his client's behaviour as "completely uncharacteristic".

With Johnston said to have been drinking more than normal before the cars were targeted, Mr Hillis added: "There was an issue raised at the time that his alcohol may have been spiked."

District Judge Amanda Henderson accepted that ordering the defendant to pay for the repairs was unrealistic.

She confirmed: "I'm going to make a community service order and, because of the amount of damage, it's going to be for the maximum 240 hours."

Judge Henderson stressed that any failure to complete the sentence could result in a prison sentence being imposed.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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