Fish and Chip shop owner pays bill for vandalism

THE owner of a fish and chip shop was left facing the bill after a teenage vandal smashed her window and was punished with a police caution.

Christine Horeau said the youth threw a stone smashing a window at the Swan Fish Shop in the High Street, Westham, on Bank Holiday Monday. Police quickly caught the culprit who allegedly said he was experiencing trouble at home.

Christine Horeau said: “He has just been left off with a slap on the wrist and a police caution but I’m the victim here and I’m the one out of pocket.What deterrent is that? He may well be remorseful but he hasn’t apologised to me. It’s not going to cost him anything but I am going to have to pay out on my insurance excess. How about he comes here and gives me £250 worth of his time? That might stop him doing it again.”

Wealden Chief Insp Richard Coates said: “Causing damage to people’s property can cause severe issues and the people causing the damage quite often do not understand the financial and emotional issues it causes to victims.

“In this case I am pleased that police acted swiftly and arrested a male for the offence. We then had to consider how we dealt with the matter and the options open to us under the charging guidelines. The options open to us were community resolution or to caution the offender as they had no previous convictions. Due to a lack of ability to pay for the damage the local team decided to caution the offender. This is totally in line with charging guidelines and will have a significant impact on the person in the future as they will need to disclose this matter should they apply for a job etc. Any further offences committed by the person will result in them being placed before the local courts.”