Date Published 13 May 2013
A man with a grudge against agents went on a revenge spree by cutting down more than 100 boards.
Anthony Bennett, 39, went out in his van two nights running and used a Stanley knife to hack down the signs.
He was angry because he had lost his entire £1,100 deposit over a stained carpet, and blamed agents Mark Boulton & Co in Greater Manchester.
He had lost his job and, after losing his home, became temporarily homeless and had to sleep in his van. He was also raging because of having to pay bedroom tax on his new property, a council flat, and decided to get back at estate agents across the Rochdale area.
He targeted several agents in his quest for revenge, and the boards he cut down and took away included dozens of For Sale signs. One firm lost 50 boards at £22 each, and four other firms lost 60 during Bennett’s two-night campaign.
The total damage was £2,000 before Bennett handed himself in to police, admitting he had targeted six different locations.
At Bury Magistrates Court, Bennett admitted theft. He said he had expected to have lost a `reasonable amount` from his deposit to cover the stained carpet, but not the whole lot.
He was ordered to pay £500 compensation to four firms and was given a three-month community rehabilitation order. A six-week curfew between the hours of 9.30pm and 7am was imposed and his van was impounded.
Magistrate Stephen Griffiths told Bennett: `Estate agents might not be the most popular of people but they have lost money and you are going to have to pay them. You caused them considerable loss.`