OAP smashed car with hammer in row over building

A PENSIONER with Huntington's disease smashed a neighbour's car with a hammer after he lost his temper over building work.

Robert McNamara, admitted two counts of criminal damage - one to a Peugeot Partner, valued at £670, and another charge for smashing 10 paving slabs, when he appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said that Ian Irwin, a property developer, had been refurbishing a house next door to McNamara’s, in Etherstone Street, Leigh, when he heard a loud bang.

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Mr Woodman said; “McNamara was standing next to the car waving a hammer in the air. He discovered a large dent in his bonnet and was met with abuse from him about damage to his property.

“The police were contacted and McNamara took the hammer to the flags in the driveway.

“When interviewed he said he was having issues with Mr Irwin doing renovation next door as his wall was damaged. This infuriated him and he lost his temper and set about damaging the vehicle and paving slabs.

“He admitted what he had done and that it was wrong.”

Mr Woodman added that the 74-year-old was of previous good character and had agreed to pay for the damage.

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He said the police agreed that the matter should be settled out of court via restorative justice.

But when McNamara failed to pay, it was brought before the courts.

In a victim impact statement Mr Irwin said: “I accept I may have damaged his wall in renovation work but that doe snot give him the right to take a hammer to my car. I am shocked someone would do that rather than discuss it directly.”

Karen Schofield, defending, said: “Mr McNamara is a gentleman who has never been in trouble before and accepts he lost his temper and put a dent in the car bonnet and smashed the flag stones.

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“This man has a great deal of difficulties as he has Huntington’s disease and needs help filling in forms. “Payment has been difficult for him and it is a lot of money. He does regret it and has apologised.

“There seems to be a misunderstanding about payment as he thought he had to go to court.”

McNamara was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £700 compensation to Mr Irwin and £15 victim surcharge.