A MAN has been jailed for 14 months for going on the rampage in a 25-tonne digger at a Bradford demolition firm and smashing up his boss’s £100,000 Range Rover and a truck.
Darren Verity, 53, of Paley Terrace, East Bowling, Bradford, was locked up at Bradford Crown Court today after pleading guilty to two charges of criminal damage on September 28 last year.
CCTV footage and mobile phone film played in court showed him destroying the black top-of-the-range 4×4 Range Rover before deliberately crashing into the Daf truck.
Staff at Thomas Crompton Demolition’s premises in Neville Road, West Bowling, were then alerted to what was going on and rushed outside to stop him.
Prosecutor Ryan Donoghue said Mr Crompton managed to climb into the cab of the digger and despite struggling with Verity he was able to pull an emergency lever to stop the machine.
Verity was shouting abuse as he was restrained on the ground and made threats to “come back and burn the rest,” the court was told.
The two vehicles wrecked by Verity would have been worth a total of more than £200,000 when new.
Verity’s barrister, Giles Bridge, said the offending was out of character. Verity was suffering a personal crisis at the time after two bereavements.
He had mental health issues and had downed a few cans of lager that morning.
He was jailed by Recorder Simon Eckersley who described the offence as a shocking and wanton act of premeditated vandalism.
Recorder Eckersley commended Mr Crompton’s bravery in stopping the digger.
The CCTV showed the vehicle’s bucket ripping the truck’s cab unit apart “like it was tin-foil,” he said.
He told Verity: “In my view the inevitable prison sentence must be served immediately.”
Mr Crompton said shortly after the wrecking spree that he feared Verity was heading towards the company’s fleet of 60 vehicles valued at £6 million.
He and staff members were in the office cabin at the depot at around 10.20am when they heard an almighty crash.
He saw his Range Rover bouncing into the air and the excavator moving over to, and smashing up, a £120,000 DAF tractor unit.
Videos of the rampage went viral on Facebook.
The well-known demolition firm has appeared on Discovery show Scrap Kings, and has been responsible for bringing down prominent buildings in the district such as Jacob’s Well and the former police station and court building in Bingley.