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Estranged father shunted wife's car into bedroom, Lincoln Crown Court told

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

Travis Smith, of Chieftan Way, Lincoln, was jailed for six months at Lincoln Crown Court

An estranged father who shunted his wife's car into a bedroom at his family's home, while her parents slept inside, was jailed for six months.

Wayne Travis Smith, 35, admitted causing criminal damage of over £13,000 after Rachel Smith's car smashed through a brick wall at the front of the property in Newton Drive, Cherry Willingham. Lincoln Crown Court heard Mr Smith had deliberately reversed his van into a car belonging to Mrs Smith's new partner which was parked on the drive.

The impact caused the vehicle to shunt forward Mrs Smith's own car, which was parked in front, and to smash into the bedroom.

The court was told Mrs Smith's parents were asleep inside and one of Mr Smith's own children had been due to sleep on the floor of the bedroom but had dozed off on a sofa instead.

Christopher Gabbitas, prosecuting, said substantial damage was caused with brick work falling into the bedroom and a UPVC window left hanging from its frame.

Mr Gabbitas added: "Mrs Smith's mother leapt out of bed and got out over the bonnet of the car. The fire brigade were called and Mrs Smith's father could only be removed when they arrived.

"One of the children had been due to sleep on the floor of the bedroom but by the grace of god had gone to sleep on a sofa."

Mr Gabbitas told the court shortly after the collision Mrs Smith received a joking text message from her estranged husband.

The court heard Mr Smith had only intended to hit the car belonging to his wife's new partner and left the scene without realising the damage that had been done to the house.

When he learnt of the extent of the damage Mr Smith handed himself in to the police. During interview he admitted losing his temper after separating from his wife and struggling to get his property back.

Mr Smith told officers he knew his wife was going on holiday the next day and became upset when she would not let him have their caravan as he had nowhere to stay.

In mitigation, the court was told Mr Smith had replaced the car belonging to his wife's partner straight away and made similar arrangements for her car.

The total damage to the two cars and bedroom was estimated at £13,894.

Mr Smith, of Chieftan Way, Lincoln, admitted a charge of criminal damage on May 19 this year.

Passing sentence, Recorder Tim Spencer QC said he had no doubts Mr Smith was a good father but his behaviour was a "period of madness" and only justified prison.

Recorder Spencer told Mr Smith: "It must have been a scene of devastation and one of your own children could have been asleep in the room.

"It is one of the most serious cases of pure criminal damage I have known in my 30 years practicing here."

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