A MAN caused almost £15,000 damage by scratching the paintwork of more than 20 vehicles in one street with a kitchen knife.

Carl Price carried out the “spree” of criminal damage, mainly to cars in John Street, Ebbw Vale, at around 10pm on March 12 this year, upset at having had his own car - a convertible and his pride and joy - damaged on purpose in a nearby road.

Sentencing Price to a year in prison, half of which will be served on licence, Judge Peter Heywood said he committed the offences while angry and drunk.

“It was a case of drink was in, wit was out,” he said.

Prosecuting counsel Jason Howells said a resident of John Street had his door knocked by a neighbour at around 10pm that night, and was asked if his car had been damaged.

He checked and found that it had, and then they spotted a drunken man who ran past and threw something at a transit van.

They followed him, told him the police had been called, and he went back with them to the van where a group of men had gathered.

“They asked why he had damaged the vehicles, and he said something that couldn’t be understood,” said Mr Howells.

“He walked away and they followed him into Council Street, where he said “this is where I live, do what you want”.”

Price, now of Phillips Close, Ebbw Vale, was arrested and it subsequently emerged, said Mr Howells, that “he had walked along holding a kitchen knife and scraping it along the length of the bodywork.” He initially told police he damaged only four vehicles, but could not say which ones.

Newport Crown Court was told Price had a convertible car he described the best thing he had ever owned, but this had been damaged and he had got drunk and gone out with the knife.

Defence counsel Hashim Salman said Price “understood the inevitability of an immediate custodial sentence.”

“This was a spree, over a short period of time. He appears to have expressed remorse in the pre-sentence report,” said Mr Salman.

Referring to his previous record of offending, Judge Heywood told Price: “It is disappointing to see you stood in the dock, and I expect no-one is as disappointed as you.

“You have kept out of trouble for 11 years. You have a good job.

“You were the proud owner of a car of significant value to you, and were hugely disappointed and angry in seeing that damaged significantly when parked on the street.

“Foolishly no doubt, because fuelled by alcohol, in a temper you went out and caused significant damage to these vehicles. You carried out damage by scratching those vehicles with a knife down the side that was adjacent to the pavement.

“Huge inconvenience and distress was caused to the owners.”

Price, who also damaged tyres, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for a lead offence of criminal damage. No separate penalty was handed down on more than 20 others.

He was given a three-month sentence, to run concurrently, for possessing a bladed article in public.

The judge did not issue orders for compensation.