Ipswich/Hintlesham: Foolish prank lands Benjamin Southgate in court after police car’s windscreen is damaged in drunken dare

A man was robbed in Lowestoft A man was robbed in Lowestoft

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
4:29 PM

A daft drunken dare has left a man nearly £300 out of pocket after he damaged a police car’s windscreen while sliding across its bonnet.

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Benjamin Southgate, of St Nicholas Street, Hintlesham, near Hadleigh, admitted criminal damage when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

The 41-year-old’s solicitor Sue Threadkell told the court: “It would seem a daft idea to take up a dare to skim across the bonnet having consumed too much alcohol (but) that is what he undertook.”

Mrs Threadkell also described the incident as a “moment of foolery”.

Previously prosecutor Lesla Small said the damage occurred at the bus station in the Old Cattle Market at 10.10pm on June 12.

A police officer had left his Ford Galaxy for no more than five to 10 minutes to make enquiries.

When he returned to the vehicle the windscreen had been smashed.

The town’s CCTV showed the damaged occurring and images of the person involved.

Ms Small said a bus driver told police Southgate had boarded his bus and gave officers details of where he had dropped him off.

When he was first interviewed Southgate denied it was him who had caused the damage.

However, when he was shown the CCTV images on July 9 Southgate admitted he was the person involved.

The court heard at the time he was drunk and had made a misjudgment.

Southgate, who is unemployed, was fined £65 and ordered to pay £196.44 compensation to Suffolk Constabulary.

He was also ordered to pay £20 to the victims’ fund.

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