Vandals get ‘slap on the wrist’ for cars paint attack in Portsmouth

In this picture and below, two of the cars targeted by the vandals
In this picture and below, two of the cars targeted by the vandals
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VICTIMS of teenaged tearaways who daubed cars with paint say their punishment is just a slap on the wrist.

Courtney Byng, Samantha Mills, and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, caused £14,131 of damage by covering property in paint during their late-night crime spree.

In this picture and below, two of the cars targeted by the vandals

In this picture and below, two of the cars targeted by the vandals

They each admitted 34 counts of criminal damage.

Now victims of the trio have criticised their sentences after Byng, 19, and Mills, 18, were each given a curfew and the boy was referred to a youth offending panel for a year.

The curfew means they must not leave their homes between 8pm and 6am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for three months.

They must each pay £250 costs and spend 36 hours at an attendance centre.

One victim in her 70s whose car was covered in paint in Bransbury Road, Southsea, said: ‘We had it the worst. The paint was all over the bonnet and on the side of the car. The sentences are a slap on the wrist but if they fine them who’s going to pay the money?

‘It would have been nice if they had come to apologise but it feels like nobody’s going to do that.’

Another woman who lives in the same street said her son’s van was splattered with paint.

She said: ‘It had paint all over the windscreen and up the side of the van.’

She added: ‘There was paint all over the floor, all over cars, across the road.

‘There was a taxi that was badly affected. It’s a slap on the wrist. It’s not very good.’

Another resident said: ‘They’ve got away with it.’

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the trio went out and got drunk in the early hours of August 12.

They found themselves in Southsea where they threw paint over 26 cars, five shops, two businesses and a phonebox in Bransbury Road and Eastney Road.

Byng, of Nelson Avenue, North End, and Mills, of Common Street, Landport, Portsmouth, were seen on CCTV and at about 2.40am they went to a 24-hour petrol station in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea.

David Jenkins, prosecuting, said: ‘They were all drunk.

‘They were all covered in paint. They were struggling, slurring their words, one of them lit a cigarette.

‘The cashier told them to put it out because it was a petrol station.’

He added: ‘He asked them if they had had a good night. “Wicked”, one of them replied.’

The court heard that the tin of paint was taken from the back of an unlocked van and that luckily it was emulsion paint which meant some victims were able to wash it off.

Stephen Tricker, defending, said they are remorseful.

Addressing Byng and Mills at the sentencing, Judge Roger Hetherington called the offences ‘disgraceful’.

He said: ‘Drunk though you were, you must have realised in some small part of your mind that what you were doing was going to cause a considerable amount of damage to all those vehicles and the remark that you made, or one of you made, in the garage later on that night suggests that you just regarded it as nothing more than a prank and enjoyed what you had done.’

The boy was sentenced at Fareham Magistrates’ Court at an earlier hearing.