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Trigger happy shooters take pot shots at Worcestershire business
TRIGGER happy shooters took pot shots at CCTV cameras at a Worcestershire business during acts of "wanton criminal damage" and "stupidity".
Aron Burgess 25, and Michael Smith, 39, who were both living at Hinton on the Green caravan site, near Evesham, at the time admitted their part in the incident although a third man, also involved, has yet to be identified after the men were captured on CCTV.
District judge Nigel Cadbury, speaking as he sentenced them at Worcester Magistrates Court on Monday, said: "It was wanton criminal damage with the use of this air weapon."
Burgess admitted criminal damage after the men shot at a double glazed office window and four security cameras, causing £450 of damage at Ringway Infrastructure Services Ltd. He also admitted possessing a loaded air rifle in public and theft of a bottle of milk from the building following the incident on Saturday April 19.
He further admitted possession of an unloaded air weapon in a public place on Thursday, April 24, a different gun to the one used to cause criminal damage matter.
Smith also admitted his role in the £450 damage to the window and cameras and possession of a loaded air weapon in a public place on April 19.
Jackie Rogers, prosecuting, said staff returned to work after the Easter break to discover the damage. The incident was captured on CCTV between 1.47pm and 2.33pm, showing three white males.
She said: "Three males take it in turns to shoot in the direction of the damaged objects. Mr Burgess accepted his actions were reckless and he caused criminal damage. He accepted using it to fire it towards the CCTV cameras."
During the same incident the unknown male picked up a carton of milk and Burgess drank it.
Burgess was also seen handling a firearm through the window of a van on April 24. The rifle was seized by police. Burgess admitted it was his but denied the air rifle used in the criminal damage belonged to him but was not prepared to name the owner. Burgess has a previous conviction for criminal damage from 2006, Father-of-five Smith had no previous convictions for similar offences but did have a record for other matters with him last coming before the court in 2005.
Chris Hilton, defending, said Burgess was unemployed and Smith worked night shifts as an onion packer and both has been "significantly chastised" for their actions. Mr Hilton said Smith's partner had given him an "ultimatum" about his behaviour in 2005 and his partner had now "kicked him out". He is now living in Fill Farm, Lower Wick, Evesham.
Mr Hilton said: "There's no explanation. Both parties refer to the stupidity of their actions. They can't understand why they did what they did."
The men shook their heads when district judge Nigel Cadbury said: "They weren't shooting out the cameras in order to burgle it?"
He ordered the men to pay £450 for the damage and Burgess was given 100 hours unpaid work and Smith 80 hours. They were also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.