Saturday, 2 Dec 2023

Woman keyed luxury cars in her village ‘because she was feeling menopausal’

A woman who keyed a number of swanky cars in her neighbourhood for parking on the pavement has been put under curfew.

Sue Williams, 62, marked eight vehicles belonging to strangers, including a Mercedes and a Range Rover Vogue, while out for a walk in Sevenoaks, Kent. She is thought to have caused at least £8,000 worth of damage, with the court hearing Williams – who has no previous convictions – may have committed the acts of vandalism after "feeling menopausal."

Williams targeted cars with at least two wheels on the pavement and used her keys to scratch along the vehicles' entire side panels in most instances. The campaign of vandalism began on March 18 last year, starting with a white Seat Terraco.

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The motor received £2,776.68 worth of damage before Williams spied a black Ford Fiesta and scratched that, too. A third vehicle, a silver Peugeot Partner van, also suffered damages that day.

Days later Williams struck again. On March 26 she keyed a grey Mercedes and caused some £1,453.66 of damage.

A blue Mini received £840 of vandalism before Williams scratched up a Vauxhall Mokka. Two more vehicles – a Fiat 500 and a black Range Rover Vogue – were also targeted.

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The woman was charged with eight counts of criminal damage and admitted all the offences during an August 14 hearing at Medway Magistrates' Court.. On October 25 she returned for sentencing.

Dylan Bradshaw, prosecuting, said the damaged cars were all near to each other. "The police were called on March 18 at about 4.20pm to a report a large scratch had been made along the entire length of the Seat and the offender was IDed as the defendant," he told the court.

"Then there was another report and the Focus had also been keyed and there was a large scratch along the driver's side," he continued, before describing the similar offences of March 26.

At least £8,000 of damage was caused to the eight cars, magistrates heard. However some owners went through their insurers to have repair work performed on their car, so the total cost of the repair bill is unknown.

Stewart Lewis, defending, said the only reason he could offer to explain Williams' behaviour was that she may have been suffering symptoms of the menopause. "It’s not been identified as such, but something happened in her mind to damage the vehicles," he said. "A substantial amount of damage was done.

"They were all parked on the pavement and it restricts people walking on the pavement. They have to go in the road to go around the vehicle."

Mr Lewis also told the court Williams’ husband was going to use money from his pension to pay back the victims of the damage. Williams was sentenced to spend three months under curfew, meaning she has to stay indoors between 8pm and 6am.

Magistrates also issued the defendant with a compensation order. She was told to pay back £4,500 to the owners, with three people being awarded £500 each and the other five awarded £600.

Magistrates accepted Williams will pay the whole amount back within six months.

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