Traveller punched window after dead grandmother slur

A traveller smashed a window of a Sudbury business in anger over an offensive comment about his dead grandmother, a court heard.

Thomas Delaney, 49, admitted criminal damage at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard that Delaney, who gave a caravan park address in Stockton-on-Tees, had been staying on Sudbury’s lorry park when the offence happened on Saturday, February 23.

Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting, said: “A CCTV system picked up Delaney smashing a window at Magpie Collectables in North Street. Police were informed and he was located and arrested.

“The shop has claimed that the damage will cost around £900 to repair.”

The court heard that Delaney admitted the offence in interview and said he would pay for the damage.

Lyndon Davies, mitigating, said: “He had been drinking when he got a phone call stating that his grandmother, who he was close to, had died.”

Mr Davies said Delaney was talking about it with friends when someone made a comment that it was ‘just another one dead’ while also using an offensive term for a traveller.

“He stormed out and, rather than punching the person who made the comment, he punched the window, causing damage to it and his own hand,” said Mr Davies.

The court heard that Delaney works as a labourer when jobs are available but had not been able to work recently, leaving him unable to pay the £1,000 requested of him by the shop owners to avoid pressing charges.

“He travels around in a caravan, doesn’t claim any benefits and has no dependents,” said Mr Davies.

Kate Tulk, deputy district judge, ordered Delaney to pay £600 in compensation to Magpie Collectables’ owners.

She said: “I will not order any costs because you cannot afford to pay them.”