Man broke gay friend's window
A 21-YEAR-OLD Kesgrave man has been ordered to pay compensation after smashing a window belonging to a friend he found out to be gay. Adam Berry, of The Walk, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates where he pleaded guilty to criminal damage to the window of a house in Main Road on October 29 last year.
A 21-YEAR-OLD Kesgrave man has been ordered to pay compensation after smashing a window belonging to a friend he found out to be gay.
Adam Berry, of The Walk, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates where he pleaded guilty to criminal damage to the window of a house in Main Road on October 29 last year.
Berry pleaded not guilty to burglary with intent to steal and was cleared by magistrates of this charge.
During the trial the court heard that Berry had recently found out that the victim, Ian Cornwell, was homosexual.
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Giving evidence Berry told the court he had visited Mr Cornwell several times and had worked for him in the past. At about 11pm on the night of October 29 he went to see him.
"I had been drinking. I heard a rumour that Ian was homosexual.
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"I wanted to know if it was true or not so I went round to talk to him."
Prosecuting lawyer Andrew Lyons alleged Berry broke into the house with the intention to steal despite the fact that nothing was taken from the house.
Mr Cornwell, 35, told the court that he did not consider Berry a close friend.
"I was introduced by another friend of mine. He is an acquaintance, we are not very close at all."
Mr Lyons said: "He had only just found out about your sexuality. He wanted to talk to you about it. Does that surprise you?"
Mr Cornwell replied: "It does surprise me."
Initially denying that he smashed the window Berry admitted in court that he lied to police during an interview. He said he had panicked and did not want to get into trouble.
Berry, who was represented in court by solicitor Ian Duckworth, told magistrates that he smashed the window by accident and entered the house to clear up glass.
The court heard that the house's alarm went off and Berry left he scene soon afterwards.
He said: "I did not know if Ian was in or not. The lights were on upstairs. I banged on the window quite a few times, my fist went through it. My intention was just to speak to him."
Regarding the charge of criminal damage chairman of the bench James Wyllie told Berry: "We find aggravating features. You were drinking, you lied to police, you did cause damage and you left the scene."
"However, you did not intend to break the window. It was an impulse action."
Berry was fined £200. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to Mr Cornwell and £50 costs.