Pensioner vandalised cars parked outside his home

Leslie Pennington was sentenced at Wigan and Leigh Courthouse
Leslie Pennington was sentenced at Wigan and Leigh Courthouse

A frail pensioner deliberately caused more than £1,000 in damage to cars outside his Wigan home, a court heard.

Leslie Pennington was twice caught on camera damaging vehicles which had been parked in front of his Pemberton home.

Owners had returned to their cars on Newland Avenue and were angered and shocked to find deep scratches gouged into the doors.

It was only when CCTV was later obtained from a nearby property that the 80-year-old was identified as the culprit.

Appearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, Pennington pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage.

The court heard how the first incident occurred last summer on July 12, involving a Vauxhall Corsa belonging to James Marsh.

Mr Marsh had lent the car to his partner so she could visit the local hair salon. She parked it at the side of the road, but upon her return was horrified to discover the heavy scores to the passenger door.

After making inquiries, she discovered that a local property had captured the entire incident on CCTV. Footage showed a male crossing the road, approaching the car and scraping its side with an object, which is believed to have been a walking stick. The damage later cost £400 to repair.

But it was only after a second identical event, months later, that Pennington was identified as the guilty party, when cameras this time captured him entering his front door after the crime.

He was caught out after causing £600 in damage to a car belonging to Shateela Gannon, who had also parked up on Newland Avenue on September 13.

Ms Gannon returned to her Peugeot 208 to find two large scratches had been made along the side of the front and rear passenger doors.

After being shown the incident on CCTV, which also revealed Pennington’s address, Gannon went to confront him over the incident, which he strongly denied by shouting and waving his stick.

Prosecuting, Katie Beattie said that single mum Ms Gannon was left "fuming" and unable to afford the cost of having her car repainted.

Bizarrely, the pensioner continued to deny any involvement in the crimes even when police showed him footage of them. He continued to protest his innocence for months, though ultimately pleaded guilty in court.

The father-of-two never revealed why he caused the damage, but his solicitor Mark Ferguson told justices his client was "disgusted with what he has done."

He said: "I have never know someone who wants to put an allegation behind them so quickly. All he wants to do is compensate the victims and put this behind him."

Pennington was given a conditional discharge and fined £1,105 for the damage to both cars.