Mentally-ill man must pay compensation after damaging two windows

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A mentally-ill man who damaged two windows while he was struggling to get treatment has been ordered to pay £315 compensation.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on August 23 how Brian Coleman, 50, of Nether Springs Road, Bolsover, smashed a window at a mental health unit at The Old Vicarage, on High Street, Bolsover, and damaged a window at Bolsover District Council offices, on Cotton Street.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “On the evening of May 18, The Old Vicarage mental health service - owned by Derbyshire Mental Health Foundation - had damage caused to a 3ft x 3ft front window.

“The defendant accepts throwing a large rock and causing the window to smash.”

Mrs Haslam added that on the same evening Coleman was seen getting another large rock and throwing this at a glass window causing large dints and marks.

Coleman told police he was stressed and he had not taken his medication and when he phoned the mental health service there was no answer and he became so cross he visited the unit and threw a rock at a window.

He added that he could not recall doing the same to the council office window but after he was shown CCTV footage he accepted committing this second offence.

Coleman pleaded guilty to two counts of causing damage.

Defence solicitor Rob Sowter said Coleman had phoned and alerted police after he had committed the offences.

Mr Sowter added that Coleman has been seeing a psychiatrist and an occupational therapist at the mental health unit.

He said: “At the time he was in a dark place and he phoned what he thought was a 24 hour helpline but it wasn’t.”

Magistrates sentenced Coleman to a 12 month conditional discharge but warned if he commits another offence in the next year he will be re-sentenced for the damaged windows with any new crime.

Coleman was also ordered to pay £315 in compensation.