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The Swan Fish and Chip shop in Westham nr. Eastbourne. Owner Christine Hoareau with windows smashed by vandal. August 29th 2012 E35082N
The Swan Fish and Chip shop in Westham nr. Eastbourne. Owner Christine Hoareau with windows smashed by vandal. August 29th 2012 E35082N

A FISH and chip owner has been left fuming after a vandal smashed her windows and was ONLY given a police caution.

Christine Horeau says she has been left with a huge bill after the teenager threw a stone through the glass window of the Swan Fish Shop in Westham High Street on the night of Bank Holiday Monday.

Police were called and quickly caught the thug but Christine says she was later told the young man had been remorseful and had told officers he was having trouble at home.

“He has just been left off with a slap on the wrist and a police caution but I’m the victim here and I’m the one out of pocket,” said Christine, who runs the shop with her husband Claude.

“What deterrent is that? He may well be remorseful but he hasn’t apologised to me.

“It’s not going to cost him anything but I am going to have to pay out on my insurance excess. “How about he comes here and gives me £250 worth of his time? That might stop him doing it again.”

Wealden Police chief Dick Coates said, “Causing damage to people’s property can cause severe issues and the people causing the damage quite often do not understand the financial and emotional issues it causes to victims.

“In this case I am pleased that police acted swiftly and arrested a male for the offence. We then had to consider how we dealt with the matter and the options open to us under the charging guidelines.

“The options open to us were community resolution or to caution the offender as they had no previous convictions. Due to a lack of ability to pay for the damage the local team decided to caution the offender.

“This is totally in line with charging guidelines and will have a significant impact on the person in the future as they will need to disclose this matter should they apply for a job etc.

“Any further offences committed by the person will result in them being placed before the local courts.”