Gambler went on £250k wrecking spree at Cashino in Carr Street, Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 14:40 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 June 2015
A man believed that wrecking up to £250,000 worth of fruit machines in an Ipswich arcade would solve his gambling addiction, a court has heard.
Andrew Haines armed himself with a mallet and a claw hammer before going on the rampage through Cashino in Carr Street on May 2, smashing every machine.
Earlier the same day Haines had lost £30 playing machines at the same arcade and before starting his 20-minute wrecking spree told staff that they had “mugged him off”.
Yesterday at Ipswich Crown Court, Haines, 32, of Kingfisher Avenue, Ipswich, was told by Judge Martyn Levett: “This was undoubtedly a revenge attack.”
Haines, who has a history of causing damage, had pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and burglary and was jailed for a total of two years and eight months.
Judge Levett told Haines: “It was clear that you were a disagreeable loser who was out to take his revenge.”
Prosecuting, Gareth Hughes said the damage caused by Haines had been estimated at up to £250,000.
As well as destroying every one of the 48 fruit machines in the arcade, Haines had smashed a cash machine, catering equipment and three large windows.
Because of shards of glass from shattered gaming machines, staff had to hoover carpets in the arcade 30 times to ensure they were safe, said Mr Hughes.
A member of staff who had been confronted at the front door by Haines locked himself in an office and watched the destruction taking place via CCTV cameras while awaiting the arrival of police.
Haines only stopped creating the trail of damage when he set off a fire alarm and fled by a side door to the roof where he was arrested.
Defending, Marcus Croskill said Haines, who had a gambling problem, had been “overwrought with emotion”.
Mr Croskill said: “This is a man who, when his emotions get the better of him, lashes out, causing damage.”
Haines had believed that by destroying the machines he would end his addiction to gambling, Mr Croskill told the court.
Sentencing him, Judge Levett said Haines had shown no remorse and had been intent on causing as much damage as possible. Haines was a “bad loser”, said the judge.
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