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April 18 2013.

A man has been convicted of causing criminal damage to vehicles in Newhaven. Tyrone Harrison, 62, of Hillcrest Road, Newhaven, was charged with causing damage to nine motor vehicles over a six week period, but was acquitted of all but two of the charges at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 17 April. He had denied the charges.

The court heard that following years of damage being committed to cars parked in Hillcrest Road, believed to be by someone scratching them with a sharp object, the police carried out observations in the road in the early hours of Friday 2 December 2011.

Harrison was observed to approach a Ford C-Max and cause damage to it. He was arrested soon after in Hillcrest Road and found to be in possession of a key and an envelope containing faeces. The key was later found to contain over 50 different flecks of automotive paint.

The court was shown footage of a man approaching a parked vehicle in Hillcrest Road on the 25 November and scratching the paint work of it.

Harrison in his defence denied causing any damage and denied he was the person in the CCTV footage. The court disbelieved that he was not the person in the  footage and he was convicted with causing damage to the car. The court was told that after years of damage being caused to cars in Hillcrest Road,  after Harrison was charged, the damage to vehicles stopped.

Harrison received a £1,400 fine, was ordered to pay £1,225.78 in compensation, a £15 victim surcharge and £700 in court costs.

After the case PC Louise Barkaway said: "I'd like to thank the efforts of the residents who were integral to Mr Harrison being convicted. I am pleased that the court has sent a strong message by way of his heavy financial conviction that his actions were completely unacceptable."