A teenager caught jumping up and down on the roof of a car while its owner crouched inside has avoided being sent to prison.
Police had to use CS spray after finding Kurtis Edgar bare-chested and attacking one of three vehicles he targeted during a breakfast-time crime spree in Belfast.
His solicitor told the city’s Magistrates’ Court that the 19-year-old with drink and drug issues has no memory of the vandalism.
Imposing a two-year probation order, the judge said: “He is very close to custody.”
Edgar, of Glencairn Walk in Belfast, admitted criminal damage to three cars, common assault against one owner, disorderly behaviour and resisting police.
Officers were called to Coniston Close shortly before 9am on August 15 amid reports of a man in an agitated state attacking vehicles.
Prosecutors said they found Edgar on the boot of a Seat car punching at the rear window.
Despite being ordered down he climbed on to the roof and kept jumping up and down, causing it to buckle.
“The driver was still in the vehicle and appeared to cover his head and duck,” a prosecution lawyer said.
He added that Edgar eventually jumped down but then struggled with police, using offensive and rude language.
“The car was deemed to be a total loss due to the damage,” he told the court.
Two other vehicles were also attacked, including £300 worth of damage to the wing mirror of a Citroen C3.
Edgar’s solicitor accepted he faced an “uphill struggle” to keep his client out of jail.
He linked the offences to issues with alcohol and substance abuse.
The court heard Edgar started drinking at the age of 10. Drug taking began at a later stage.
“He apologises, he can recall little or nothing of this incident,” his lawyer added.
Deciding against imprisonment, District Judge Fiona Bagnall sentenced him to probation.
She also ordered: “He will have to pay for the damage ... to each vehicle.”