Window smasher who caused £35,000 damage at Leyland Tesco feared store's beer had made him ill

The vandal behind last year's hammer attack at a Tesco store had left a note to police alleging he had fallen sick from alcohol he had bought there.

Friday, 26th January 2018, 12:05 pm
Updated Friday, 26th January 2018, 4:19 pm
Hilton attacks the store

Preston Crown Court heard Mark Hilton, 34, of Wilton Place, Leyland, had suffered a psychotic episode before the startling window smashing rampage, witnessed by terrified shoppers at around 10.45am on Thursday, August 24.

Prosecuting, David Clarke said Hilton had bought alcohol at the shop the previous night, which he thought had made him ill.

He had left an unsigned note at the nearby police station about his concern, before smashing 20 windows.

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Damage at Tesco Leyland

A clip of the incident, captured by a shopper, was played in court.

Mr Clarke said: “One witness was in the salon part of the store when she heard a loud bang and two girls aged six and nine came in distressed and told her what was going on.”

The court heard the cost of the damage was estimated at £35,000, but a further £80,000 was lost in revenue as the store had to close to allow repairs to be made and the shards of glass to be cleaned up.

In addition, a further £1,000 of fresh produce had been abandoned at the tills by customers as Hilton launched the attack.

Damage at Tesco Leyland

Hilton admitted criminal damage and was given a hospital order by Judge Simon Medland QC, who said the incident would have been a “frightening experience”.

Damage at Tesco Leyland
Damage at Tesco Leyland