Harrogate man jailed for £12k vandalism rampage after smashing up Land Rover with hammer

An appalling act of vandalism has landed a Harrogate man with a 12-month prison sentence after he smashed up a Land Rover with a claw hammer and attacked windows and doors at a block of flats.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:20 pm

Adrian Greaves’s wanton rampage caused more than £12,000 damage to the vehicle, a flat and a shed during the incident in Littlethorpe, near Ripon.

York Crown Court heard that one of the victims, Greaves’s neighbour, was watching TV in his flat when he heard “braying” on his front door with what appeared to be a tool.

Adrian Greaves, 56, was handed a 12-month prison sentence for the offences.

“He rang police (but) heard the defendant shouting, ‘Get out here, you coward,’” said prosecutor James Howard.

The named victim looked out of his window to see Greaves, 56, brandishing a claw hammer on the driveway outside another neighbour’s flat.

“(Greaves) used the (claw hammer) to smash the window of the vehicle before disappearing out of view,” added Mr Howard.

He then went to the flat of the second male victim, against whom he was said to have a “grudge”, smashing windows to smithereens and even managing to damage curtains and a mirror on the inside.

Greaves then smashed windows and tiles on a shed before breaking the padlock to a garage, said Mr Howard.

During the rampage, a Magnolia paint pot was tipped over. Greaves walked over the paint, leaving footprints which would later serve as evidence.

Another neighbour, who was walking home, tried to get the hammer off Greaves, but he was pushed away.

Greaves then returned to the Range Rover, smashing the headlights and the rest of the windows.

Police were called to the scene and found Greaves in his flat on Harrogate Road. He denied responsibility for the attacks, claiming “three men in masks” had caused the damage.

He was duly arrested and charged with three counts of criminal damage, which he denied until just before a trial was due to take place.

Greaves, who has since moved to Harrogate, appeared for sentence on Tuesday following his belated guilty pleas.

The court heard that the vandalism, on Christmas Eve 2018, had caused £12,571 damage in total, including £11,140 damage to the Range Rover. The damage caused to the victim’s flat was estimated at £1,431.

Greaves had five previous convictions for offences including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill in 2007 when he was jailed for 18 months. He also had a record for carrying weapons in the 1980s, including one incident in which he armed himself with a bicycle chain and metal object, and a wounding incident in which he used a knife.

Defence barrister Jade Edwards said that Greaves, who is married, suffered from mental-health problems including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Judge Simon Hickey said Greaves’s “worrying” record showed he was a “violent, unpredictable individual”.

He said that Greaves, of Eleanor Road, had intended to cause “very serious” damage to property “and indeed achieved that”.

He told Greaves: “I take the view you are a high risk. You have anger-management issues and grievance thinking.”

As well as the 12-month prison sentence, Greaves was slapped with a 10-year restraining order banning him from contacting the main victim and going to his home or workplace. There was no order for compensation because the victim had already been reimbursed by his insurance company and Greaves was in debt.