A CREWKERNE pensioner who daubed a vehicle with black paint as part of an ongoing feud with another family has been given a conditional discharge by magistrates.

Peter Rodney Gerring initially denied going round to a works storage compound on the Pen Mill trading estate and carrying out the night time attack.

However when he was shown CCTV from a nearby business it showed him arriving at the scene wearing a baseball cap, and two jars which had been filled with black paint were also discovered.

Gerring, 69, of Lower Easthams, appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil.

He pleaded guilty to a charge that on June 8 at Yeovil he damaged a Fiat Ducato and a fence belonging to Terry Dwyer.

Prosecutor Susan Butler said that on the day in question the complainant took his van back to a works storage compound in Yeovil at 9.30pm.

“When he went back at 8.30am the next day he could see black paint all over his vehicle and there was also some on the fence,” she said.

“They recovered two smashed Branston pickle jars which had been filled with black paint and when the police viewed the CCTV there were stills of a vehicle similar to that owned by the defendant.”

When Gerring was interviewed he said had did not leave his home address that night and denied allegations of criminal damage.

A few weeks later CCTV was obtained from a building opposite the compound which showed a van the same as the defendant’s with a tyre cover missing, as it was on his.

It showed the vehicle pulling up and a male wearing a dark baseball cap came out with a carrier bag and then went into the compound.

“When the defendant was interviewed again he said he had been driving round the Pen Mill trading estate looking for pallets for his woodburner and accepted it had been him,” added Mrs Butler.

The court was told that the cost of cleaning the victim’s vehicle was £102.28.

Defending solicitor Ray Peters said that Gerring could not fully explain why he acted in the way he did but said there had been ongoing issues between the complainant’s family and the defendant.

“Some things were being said about the defendant which were not correct, and in a moment of madness he acted in the way he did and threw some paint at the complainant’s vehicle, although there was only minor damage,” he said.

The magistrates sentenced Gerring to a six month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £102.28 compensation, £50 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.