Man given suspended sentence for criminal damage, producing cannabis and stealing electricity (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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Christian De-Vriess given suspended sentence for criminal damage, producing cannabis and stealing electricity
Late night tyre slasher Christian De-Vriess attacked 18 cars one night parked near his home in St Albans.
In all his activities caused damage to the tune of £5,107 - not to mention the inconvenience to the drivers.
De-Vriess was "steaming drunk" at the time and was caught, thanks to CCTV.
As a result police went to his home in Richard Stagg Close to arrest him and there discovered he was growing around 100 cannabis plants.
Yesterday at St Albans Crown Court De-Vriess, 48, who now lives in hostel accommodation in Lemsford Road pleaded guilty to criminal damage, producing cannabis and extracting electricity.
Neil King, prosecuting, told the court it was the early hours of April 16, 2011 when De-Vriess attacked the cars parked near his home in Lloyd Court, St Albans.
The court was told the defendant had been drinking heavily and had no memory of the events.
However, he had been seen on CCTV and police were able to pick out his tattoos.
As a result police were able to identify the tyre slasher and turned up at his home.
There, said Mr King, it was discovered he had set up a hydroponics system to cultivate cannabis plants.
The court was told De-Vriess had bypassed the electricity supply to power his mini drugs factory.
When questioned, he said he was growing the plants for someone else after getting into trouble with a loan shark.
It was to be his way of repaying the debt.
The court heard De-Vriess had chalked up 19 previous convictions involving a total of 54 offences.
Eleanor Mawrey, defending, said De-Vriess had committed the offences at a time when his personal life was in chaos and he was drinking heavily.
As a result she said he had no recollection of slashing the tyres that night.
Whatever implement he had used that night was never found, the court heard.
"He has taken it upon himself to address his drinking and he is now sober," his barrister said.
She added that he was taking medication for anxiety and depression and was on benefits.
"He is someone who late in life has made significant changes allowing himself to go forward without re-offending," she said. Getting sober and remaining sober was, said Miss Mawrey a "considerable step" for De-Vriess.
"He has made a commitment and stuck to it," she said.
Judge Martin Griffith sentenced De-Vriess to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and made him the subject of an 18 month supervision order during which time he must go on a Thinking Skills Programme.
As he left the dock De-Vriess thanked the judge saying: "Thank you for your compassion sir."
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