Drunken pensioner John Wetton scratched cars on way home from pub
DRUNKEN pensioner John Wetton caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to cars as he walked home from the pub.
The 67-year-old used a lock knife to scratch vehicles as he walked through Newchapel on Sunday nights, North Staffordshire magistrates heard.
But he was caught when Jonathan Curry, who owns a garage in High Street, Newchapel, installed CCTV after he and other residents had cars damaged.
Prosecutor Steve Knowles said: "He was at home at 8pm on December 30 watching television when he saw on CCTV a man walking from Harriseahead towards Packmoor.
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"He recognised that man as John Wetton.
"As he walked past, Wetton was seen to extend his arm to make contact with the cars.
Mr Curry left his home and saw his Hyundai had a fresh scratch mark."
Mr Curry pointed out Wetton to the police when they arrived and the pensioner was arrested.
Wetton told police he left the pub at 7.50pm and walked to the bus stop by the garage.
He denied causing any damage. He was re-interviewed and shown the CCTV but said he could not say whether it was him or not.
But Wetton, of Southern Way, Smallthorne, pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place and nine charges of criminal damage.
He asked for four similar matters to be taken into consideration.
Nicola Bell, mitigating, said it was a 'bizarre case'. She said Wetton, a former council gardener, could appear an isolated individual.
"The trip to the pub on a Sunday became quite a regular occurrence. He was binge drinking on a Sunday.
"It was quite a regular thing for him to have 10 or 12 pints.
"He cannot offer an explanation for his behaviour.
" It may have been a cry for help. He clearly suffers from anxiety and symptoms of depression."
Ms Bell added Wetton has now addressed his drinking.
Magistrates yesterday handed him a 12-month community order with supervision and ordered him to pay £3,390 compensation and a £60 surcharge.
They also ordered the knife be destroyed.