A DRUNK who keyed seven of his neighbours’ cars after binging on 12 pints has been spared jail after saying the vandalism left him feeling “ashamed and embarrassed”.

Daniel Jebbett scratched seven vehicles, including a mobility car, with his key as he walked down his street in the early hours of the morning in March this year.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 40-year-old caused £2,100 worth of damage but he claims to have no recollection of keying his neighbours’ cars because he had drank excessive amounts of alcohol.

The soon-to-be father, who moved to the street in Hartlepool little more than one year ago, was handed a community order and told to pay compensation to the victims.

Doctor Christopher Wood, prosecuting said: “At 2.30am the defendant walked down the side of the street and whilst doing so, is seen on CCTV carrying an unknown object, and scratching the sides of seven vehicles.

“He was arrested and shown the CCTV. The vehicles damaged including a Nissan, Citron and mobility car.

“The incident left one victim feeling distressed. He said he couldn’t understand why someone who has no issues against the neighbours would do this. Another victim who is retired relied heavily on his car and said he is worried about the possibility of his property or car getting damages again.”

The court heard Jebbett, who builds and designs racing cars, had drank up to 12 pints over a period of six hours and didn’t recollect the incident but he believes it was a key he used to scratch the cars. It was added that he struggled to come to terms with the sudden deaths of his mother and toddler daughter.

The 40-year-old admitted to seven counts of causing criminal damage to property and to breaching a suspended sentence previously handed to him following a fraud conviction.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “It is intensely annoying if someone keys the side of your car, especially when it has been done in an act of vandalism. I do not want the owners of those cars to be out of pocket.

“When you were drunk you keyed the side of seven vehicles in the street you were living in. The cost is expensive and inconvenient. The only reason, some of them struggle to understand, is that you were drunk and didn’t care what damage you caused. It is said you are ashamed and embarrassed and I take that into account.”

Jebbett, of Carlton Street, Hartlepool, was given a 12 month community order, ordered to complete 15 rehabilitation days and fined £250. He will also pay compensation to the victims with the amount to be confirmed.