JCB house attacker who flipped car given suspended sentence after £28k rampage

A man who caused £28,000 of damage by driving a JCB digger into the front of a house has been given a 16-month suspended sentence.

Mark Holmes, from Caerphilly, Wales, was handed the sentence on 31 January at Newport Crown Court after admitting that he drove the digger into the front of Paula Brown’s Blackwood house in an alcohol-fuelled rampage in November.

Paula suffered “minor injuries” as Holmes, 56, repeatedly reversed into her car, adding that she thought the man was going to kill her.

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“He flipped the Ford Focus over and pushed it into a wall,” the prosecutor said. Holmes raised the digger's arm and made contact with the victim, causing “relatively minor injuries”.

Paula said in her victim statement that she is still unable to go back to her home as it is structurally unstable thanks to Holmes.

Holmes' brother was the ex-partner of the victim, Paula Brown, and "relations had become strained".

Barrister Marian Lewis, defending Holmes in court, said that his actions were the "culmination of family problems, misunderstandings and disagreements".

"Everything came to a head and he completely lost his self control”, she added.

The court heard that Holmes became aware he was being filmed by passers-by and drove himself to Blackwood police station in the JCB, where police discovered he had been drinking.

Holmes’ 16-month sentence is suspended for two years.

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He was also suspended from driving for three years and had a 10-year restraining order imposed on him.

Holmes admitted to charges of aggravated vehicle taking, causing damage to the property, driving under the influence and battery in December 2022.

Newport Crown Court’s recorder, Duncan Bould, told Holmes: "None of those matters justify your behaviour in any way, and you must appreciate you caused great stress and anxiety".

"It's clear there are issues you need to deal with in respect of your mental health", he added.

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