Psychotic episode led to incident

A PSYCHOTIC episode caused a 33-year-old Pevensey man to damage a car, a boat and a barrier before smearing his blood over the wall of a police cell.

Jason Duggan, of Maresfield Drive in Pevensey Bay, appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday (February 8) after pleading guilty to the four criminal damage offences, which took place on November 4, 2010, at an earlier hearing. The court heard Duggan damaged three of the items in the early hours of the morning at Sovereign Harbour. He was seen by a security officer at the harbour to throw a rock at a boat causing £1,010 worth of damage. He also smashed a rear windscreen of a parked Honda in the harbour and caused £300 worth of damage to a barrier at the harbour as he went to leave the area.

Duggan was arrested and taken into custody. During his time in the police cell he committed his fourth criminal damage offence by smearing his blood on the wall of the cell. It cost the police £60 to have the wall cleaned. Sarah Clarke, defending, told magistrates Duggan was suffering from recurring voices in his head and psychotic episodes. Miss Clarke said, “He left his father’s address because he was struggling with the voices in his head. He set up a tent on a road traffic island because he wanted to get away and try and settle himself. He then went to return to his father and this all happened on the way back.”

She also explained he was not violent towards people. Pre-sentence reports were completed but Miss Clarke said there had been difficulty in securing mental health treatment. She added, “He says if he doesn’t get some help he will be back before the court again. He doesn’t want that - he wants to lead a quiet life and he wants to get some work.”

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with 60 hours unpaid work. During the order, the probation service will attempt to get him help from mental health services. Duggan will also pay £200 compensation to the boat owner.