Teen flung torch at dad’s van

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.

A TEENAGER who threw a torch at his father’s van in a fit of pique after the pair had rowed was told by a court this week to take steps to curb his temper or he was likely to face further ciminal proceedings.

Benjamin Earl Douglas Smith, 18, appeared before Harrogate magistrates on Tuesday to plead guilty to causing £120 worth of damage to his father’s Able Couriers-owned Mercedes Sprinter outside the home the two shared in Lancaster Court, Boroughbridge, on March 26.

Smith, who told the court he was now living in a hostel for the homeless in Bower Street, Harrogate, was said to have had a problematic relationship with his father.

Prosecutor Joseph Wynn said Smith had been with friends at the family home when his father came in from work.

There had been a minor disagreement between the pair inside the premises and it had continued as Mr Smith senior left to go back to work.

He had been followed outside by his son and the row had escalated to a point where, as Mr Smith drove away, his son threw a metal torch in the direction of the van which put two dents in the rear doors.

In mitigation Clive Farndon said when the dust had settled Smith’s father, who had originally gone to the police with a criminal damage complaint, had gone back to them and made a comprehensive retraction statement indicating that he felt he had over-reacted and no longer wanted to pursue his claim.

But the CPS had taken the view that the matter had been a domestic incident and had determined to proceed with the prosecution.

Mr Farndon said Smith had been in a temper when his father drove off.

He had thrown a torch to the ground and it had bounced up and struck the van.

The court heard Smith had been conditionally discharged for theft in December and had been made subject to a community order in January for an undisclosed offence.

‘‘It would appear temper has been an issue and was an issue in this offence,’’ said Mr Farndon. But it was being addressed through the community order.

Court chairman Eric Fell imposed a fine of £65 with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge and told Smith: ‘‘Just watch your temper. You don’t want to go through life attending court every couple of weeks.’’