Damage was ‘cry for help’ says man, 42

Costa Coffee Hailsham High Street October 10th 2012 E41313N
Costa Coffee Hailsham High Street October 10th 2012 E41313N

Throwing a sign at a shop window has ended in court for one 42-year-old.

Daniel Townsend drunkenly caused damage to Costa Coffee in Hailsham’s High Street after being left devastated by the break-up of his relationship.

Eastbourne magistrates heard the defendant, who is a ground worker, had been found by police by the town’s War Memorial on Sunday October 7. When he was approached he told them, “I cracked the window, arrest me.”

Townsend, who was in a drunken state, told officers he had met with his partner and he had been left frustrated after an argument.

At a hearing at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday October 9 Townsend, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage.

Noelle Magennis, defending, said, “He had been feeling very low, the relationship has ended and he was devastated by that.

“He met up with her on the Sunday.

“He had a few drinks and felt low and suicidal, it was a cry for help really, he got a sign from Costa Coffee in Hailsham and threw it and the window, damaging it.

“He was taken to custody and he pleads guilty at the first opportunity.

“I ask you to give him full credit.

A report from a community psychiatric nurse (CPN), which was read out at Eastbourne Magistrates Court, stated he felt quite low for some time. He plans on his release, following the recommendation from CPN, to get some help from the hospital for depression because he realises it’s quite an issue.

“I would say it’s minor damage and in the bracket of a financial penalty to a conditional discharge.

“He was arrested just after 8pm on the Sunday and spent about 39 hours in custody.

“He was kept in because he was demonstrating suicidal tendencies.”

Magistrates ordered Townsend to pay £300 compensation to Costa Coffee.

They also fined him £100 and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge.