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Man smashed gnomes in drunken rage
A MAN has been given a 12-month supervision order after smashing up garden gnomes in a drunken rage.
Edwin O'Toole, of Cricklade Road, appeared before Swindon Magistrates' Court and admitted a charge of criminal damage.
Nikki Wootton, prosecuting, told the court that O'Toole committed the offence in Turnpike Road, Blunsdon, on October 28.
She said: "Miss Grimes lives there with her mother and has a baby.
On October 28, around 4pm, she was home with her baby when she heard determined banging on her front door as if somebody was trying to kick it in.
"She went into the lounge and peered through the curtains and saw a male she knows as Edwin. He was kicking the front door.
"She also saw the defendant's son with him, who was stood by the gate laughing.
"She said the son saw her looking through the window and shouted, Dad, there she is.'"
Miss Wootton said O'Toole, who was drunk, then kicked over several garden gnomes and also damaged the lounge window and the reinforced glass on the front door.
He was later arrested at his home in Cricklade Road and in his police interview admitted he caused the damage and said he had consumed about 15 pints and a couple of brandies.
But Mike Pulsford, defending, said his client had gone to Blunsdon after receiving a phone call from a loan company requesting details about his father.
"His father is in his 80s and had a relationship with a Glyns Grimes, she is the mother of the young lady who was in the property when my client arrived," Mr Pulsford said.
"My client's family have been convinced that his father is being ripped off financially by the Grimes' and that is the subject of an on-going investigation.
"That has been a long-term issue that has been gnawing away at my client. His father has not been in good health and he is seeing the family silver being dissipated.
"He should have contacted the police dealing with the investigation, but he took matters into his own hands.
"He went to see Glyns Grimes. He firmly believed she was in the house at the time, but her daughter refused to contact her mother.
"He took it out on the fabric of the property."
Imposing a 12-month supervision order and alcohol treatment programme, the chairman of the bench, Bob Sparling, said: "We hope that the probation service can help you and stop you re-offending."
O'Toole was ordered to pay £255.81 in compensation and £35 costs.