By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:52 PM on 30th May 2008
Lincoln Crown Court Judge Michael Heath felt sorry for floor specialist Paul Young, who he said had acted out of “understandable frustration”
Businessman Paul Young took spectacular revenge after he was driven to the brink of bankruptcy by a larger firm’s refusal to pay his bills, a court has heard.
He marched into the company’s headquarters armed with a five-gallon drum of industrial sealant and poured it all over the office computers and furniture.
Despite causing £24,000 worth of damage he has walked free from court after a judge took sympathy on him and said he had acted out of “understandable frustration”.
Judge Michael Heath also refused to make Young pay compensation after hearing how he had been driven to despair after the larger firm kept stalling payment.
Young, a flooring specialist who employs four people, had been sub-contracted by Geraghty Construction to lay a concrete floor for a new Tesco depot last summer.
But by late November his bill had still not been paid and when he was finally given a £30,000 cheque that bounced he went to the firm’s offices in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
After being told the managing director was not able to see him Young got the drum of sealant from his van and exacted his revenge, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
An office worker tried to stop him but he kept going until the five-gallon drum was empty and all the computers coated in the quick-drying chemical.
Today Young, of Tallington, near Stamford, Lincolnshire, admitted damaging property on November 29, last year.
Judge Heath, who ordered him to do 200 hours’ community work, told him: “It is plain that you were driven to this through sheer frustration.
“You were faced with bankruptcy and Christmas was coming up.
“At that moment you lost control because of your frustration, which is understandable, although I do not for one moment condone what you did.
“I do not propose to make any order that you pay compensation.”
Nicholas Cutter, defending, said: “He was a man in desperate straits.
“He was almost being made bankrupt, his mortgage was in arrears, then to add to his woes the VAT bill came through his door asking for £10,000.
“He was worried about his family and the four men he employs and their families. He lost his temper and he lost his self control.”
Young said afterwards: “This has almost ruined me. I have had to borrow thousands of pounds to keep going.
“They had been paid for the job but they wouldn’t pay me although I still had to pay my workers and all my other bills.”