A tenant who caused an estimated £10,000 of damage to a rented flat has narrowly been spared from being sent to prison.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on March 25 how Peter Simon Sisson, 45, of no fixed abode, was proven to have caused fire damage and water damage along with damage to electrical items at his former flat on Derby Road, Chesterfield.
Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “The defendant is a homeless gentleman who was referred by Derbyshire County Council to the landlord of a property on Derby Road, Chesterfield, which was damaged.
“He went there in 2017 and he left in 2018 and during that time a huge amount of damage was caused.”
Mrs Haslam added that there was fire and water damage, and damage to electrical items and a door as well as structural damage to the walls.
The overall estimated cost to put the flat right again was £10,000, according to Mrs Haslam, so it could be re-let.
Mrs Haslam said Sisson should have appeared in court earlier in March but when he failed to appear the criminal damage case was deemed proven in his absence.
The defendant, who has a care-of address on Everest Drive, Somercotes, admitted failing to surrender to the court for that hearing on March 1.
Defence solicitor Steve Brint told a further, subsequent hearing on March 27 that Sisson has an extensive record of previous convictions but these have been due to his mental health and drug misuse.
He added that Sisson, who is on benefits, has also been homeless which is why he has committed offences in the past and why he had failed to attend court.
There had also been a fire at the flat next door to Sisson’s former Derby Road property, according to Mr Brint, and Sisson claims some of the damage was caused by water used by the fire service.
Magistrates sentenced Sisson to 18 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months and warned that if he commits a further offence he could be sent to prison.
They also imposed a Thinking Skills Programme and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement with 50 hours of unpaid work to run alongside the suspended sentence.
Sisson must also pay £750 compensation.