Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Axe thug spared bill for £10,000 wrecking spree
A thug who ran amok in a town centre smashing windows with an axe in a drunken rampage has walked free from court – and will not even have to pay for the damage caused.
Kyle Lees-Stockton, 20, launched his mindless spree of vandalism causing almost £10,000 damage in Ashton under Lyne.
He smashed an axe through the windows of a McDonald’s, the Halifax bank and also Tameside magistrates court – where he was later hauled to admit his crimes.
Lees-Stockton, an out of work labourer of Manor Road, Denton, was angry after being kicked out of his grandparents’ home and was so drunk he later did not remember any of the incident, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.
The court was shown dramatic CCTV footage of Lees-Stockton striking several windows with the axe, and his arrest soon after.
The defendant was facing detention in a young offenders’ institution, but was spared immediate custody by Judge Yvonne Coppel.
He was handed a six month sentence, suspended for a year.
Lees-Stockton earlier pleaded guilty to four charges of criminal damage and also admitted possession of an offensive weapon when he appeared before magistrates. Patrick Williamson, prosecuting, told the judge how the defendant ‘ran amok’ in Ashton town centre in the early hours of August 24. He broke several windows worth more than £9,000 in the spree.
Alison Heyworth, defending, said: “He has absolutely no recollection of the events at all, and does not know how the axe came to be in his possession. His actions were born out of drink and frustration.”
She added that he had never been to custody before, and that ‘a suspended sentence would be the sword of Damocles he needs to stay out of trouble’.
The court heard Lees-Stockton had previous convictions for possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.
Judge Coppel told him: “You behaved like a thug and caused damage and great inconvenience and expense.
“What is worse is that you were drunk and carrying an axe. I have considered immediate custody, but I have decided I’m going to put the ball back in your court. I have decided that you can be punished in a more constructive way.”
He was not ordered to pay compensation for the damage caused to the windows – because he doesn’t have a job – but was given a 12 month supervision order and a night-time curfew for two months. Manchester Evening News