A THUG who smashed a ladder 19 times into the window of a letting agency escaped prosecution following a police “misunderstanding”.

Shocking CCTV footage recorded outside LetDirect on Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth in the early hours of October 9 shows a young man attacking the window for almost four minutes.

The video shows him violently kicking and punching at the glass, throwing what appears to be a brick before leaving the shot, only to reappear a minute later holding a ladder.

He can then be seen charging at the shop front with the ladder, swinging at it 19 times. The window had to be replaced at a cost of £1,200.

The man was arrested by police and he admitted to causing the damage.

However, he was not charged or given a caution. Instead police suggested a community resolution agreement, which unlike a caution does not result in a criminal record.

A spokesman for Dorset Police initially told the Daily Echo that the owner, Ersan Turay, had signed the agreement allowing the vandal to walk free.  She said he had agreed to community resolution and accepted a £125 payment from the man responsible for the damage.

After Mr Turay furiously denied this, the police spokesman admitted no paperwork had been signed - but insisted the agreement was made verbally and that Mr Turay had “made a mistake.”

But Mr Turay said: “I never signed anything – why would I want this person to get off? He has wrecked my window and the cracks have put people off coming in.

“Nobody from the police has ever come to see me – it’s all been done over the phone and by email. I had never even heard of community resolution.”

The confusion was caused because another property rented out by Mr Turay on Windham Road had sustained £125 of criminal damage in a separate incident.

Mr Turay received a call from an officer who asked him to send an invoice for the cost of the damage of the Windham Road property, which he did. But the officer thought the quote for damage was for the window in Old Christchurch Road instead.

Mr Turay said: “The police have made a mistake. People make mistakes – but they need to be put right. This is an injustice. I went to the station and showed them the CCTV and they saw the damage he did – but they just said it was over and there is nothing more that can be done.”

The man who caused the damage was not known to Mr Turay and is understood to reside in the Salisbury area. 

Dorset Police provided the Echo with a statement that said: “Dorset Police were called at 5.17am on Thursday 9 October 2014 to reports of criminal damage at an address in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

“A 19-year-old man was arrested. He accepted liability and offered to reimburse the victim for the cost of the window.

“The victim provided an estimate of the repair cost and agreed to deal with the matter by way of Community Resolution.

“It has since transpired the victim owned another property which had also been damaged in an unconnected incident.

“He mistakenly provided a quote for this damage rather than the address in Old Christchurch Road. The investigating officer was unaware the victim had suffered from two identical crimes at a similar time.

“This appears to have led to confusion as to the full cost of the damage for the Old Christchurch Road incident.

“Unfortunately, a Community Resolution is a full and binding agreement and the Force is unable to change the terms of this contract.

“We are sorry that the Community Resolution process, which was deemed to be a proportionate response to this crime, hasn’t fully satisfied the complainant because there was a misunderstanding about the compensation level involved.”

Mr Turay has shown the Echo the emails he sent to police, which clearly state the £125 invoice was for Windham Road, not Old Christchurch Road.

  • Nigel Hedges, chair of the Town Centre Management Board, said: “Whilst town centre businesses understand police resources are stretched, there still remains a very clear wish for more visible policing.

“When there is evidence of a crime then police must try and get justice for that shopkeeper whose livelihood has been impaired.

“The damage to the business will probably be three times more than just the physical damage to the windows. And people who do these things must be responsible for the consequences of their actions.”

Bournemouth Central councillor Dave Smith said: “I’m sorry to hear of the damage to Mr Turay’s business and the fact he feels it has not been satisfactorily resolved.

“As a member of the Police and Crime Panel and town centre ward councillor I will raise the issue with the Police and Crime Commissioner to see if there’s anything he can do to resolve this unfortunate situation.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill did not want to comment on that matter as it was an operational issue.