Absolute discharge for Spalding mechanic
An argument over a van and its MOT test led to an employee of the garage breaking the window and damaging the steering lock, after its owner left it blocking the way in and out of the garage.
Timothy Edward Hart (42), of Alexandra Road, Spalding, admitted damaging the Citroen Relay van when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court on Wednesday but was given no punishment by the magistrates.
Prosecuting, Marie Stace said the owner of the van took it for an MOT test on December 21 and was told it would cost £500, but was later told it would be £700.
She said he paid £400 on December 24 and was advised he would have to pay a further £300 when he collected it but the van failed its MOT test and when the owner returned on January 11, he then locked the van, left it on the garage forecourt and went into town.
She said that while he was in the town, police contacted him to tell him it had been damaged.
Ms Stace said Hart had caused the damage with a claw hammer, smashing the window and damaging the steering lock.
She said Hart was arrested and told police the van had been blocking the garage front and also alleged the driver had pulled a lock knife on him and he had armed himself with a claw hammer to defend himself and that he had subsequently smashed the window to move it out of the way.
Hart told the magistrates that the owner had wanted the garage to issue a certificate even though it had failed the test but they wouldn’t.
He said the van had failed a test and it was going to cost £500 to repair for what had been on the rejection notice, but when it went for a new test, there was a lot more wrong with the van than had originally been identified by the earlier MOT test centre and so the cost had gone up to £700.
“He blocked the garage for everyone,” he told the court. “What I did was stupid but he came at me first with a knife and I was defending myself.
“I’ve lost my job because of this,” he added.
He said the van owner had left the scene before the police arrived and when they found him, he had disposed of the knife.
After reading correspondence supplied by Hart, the magistrates told Hart: “It must have been a frightening situation for you.”
Imposing an absolute discharge, they said Hart had done what he had done and it had been for the benefit of the owner of the business.
They made no orders for costs or compensation.