Colne chef’s baseball bat vandalism spree

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.
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A teenager who went on a “mad” vandalism spree armed with a baseball bat also swung the weapon at a cyclist, an off-duty police officer, a court heard.

Burnley Crown Court was told how trainee chef Oscar Hope had had a cocktail of drink and cocaine before he set about two vehicles - a Vauxhall Astra and a Cherokee Jeep- and smashed a shop window in Colne, last November 7th.

Hope was spared jail, but left court with a judge’s words ringing in his ears. Judge Beverley Lunt told him to grow up, stop drinking and taking cocaine and warned him he wouldn’t want to appear in front of her again.

The defendant (18), of Burnley Road, Colne, had admitted three counts of damage, one allegation of using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour, one of possessing an offensive weapon and resisting police and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.

He was sentenced to seven months in detention, suspended for a year and must pay a total of £850 in compensation and costs.

Miss Jane Dagnall (defending) handed the judge references on his behalf, including one from his employer.

The barrister told the hearing: “He has everything going for him and he shouldn’t be here. His father, who is with him, has learned something about his son - that he takes cocaine and drinks to excess.

“If he wants to keep his liberty, if he wants to continue on that career path to be a chef, he has to learn from this.”

Passing sentence, Judge Lunt told Hope: “Welcome to the crown court. You are a man, not a child.”

The judge said if the defendant had hit the off-duty policeman, he could have gone to the ground from his bike and hit his head. “Murder it’s called,” she added.

Judge Lunt continued: “I have no idea what was going on in your head on that night, I really don’t.” She told the defendant he had gone on a “mad spree,” and added: “You have come awfully close to being sent to prison. It’s the number of offences and the sheer seriousness of them.”

The judge told Hope he should go home “shame faced” and apologise to his family. She warned the defendant: “Grow up, work hard and stop behaving like this because if you and I meet again, you will not be happy.”