Father is given a conditional discharge for breaking phone

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A BOYFRIEND who smashed his girlfriend’s phone against the wall in a fit of anger escaped with a conditional discharge.

Mark Pickard, 28, of Etchingham Road, pleaded guilty to criminal damage when he appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Monday accused of breaking Tia Donoghue’s LG mobile during a heated row.

The court heard how the pair had been dating for more than eight years prior to the July 17 argument but had split up shortly before it.

Claire Prodger, prosecuting, said, “At about 2am Tia was awoken by a banging on the door – it was Pickard.

“He said his phone was dead and needed his charger.

“There was then an altercation and her mobile began to rang. He picked it up and threw it against the wall.” According to Ms Prodger, Pickard also told Ms Donoghue that she wouldn’t be able ‘to get your boyfriend to ring you now’.

However, the court then heard that Ms Donoghue had since written to police praising Pickard – with whom she has two children – as ‘a brilliant father’ saying she no longer wanted to press charges.

Anthony Stannard, defending, elaborated. He said, “This is a bit of an on-off relationship.

“Tia has been in hospital having surgery and he has been helping her through that and helping her to look after the children.”

Mr Stannard said Pickard was living between his mother’s house and Ms Donoghue’s home and admitted ‘He (Pickard) has his problems’, adding, “There is an underlying drug problem.”

Magistrates decided to impose a conditional discharge for 18 months and ordered Pickard, who has been getting help for his substance misuse, to pay £40 in court costs.