Shocking Act of Vandalism in Buxted
A Polegate couple’s reprehensible act of damaging a public defibrillator has led to their sentencing in court. Harrison O’Doherty, 23, and Lucy Russell, 21, were caught on CCTV maliciously attacking the life-saving device outside Buxted Football Club.
Arrest and Charges
The incident, reported on 13 June 2021, saw both individuals arrested and charged with criminal damage. O’Doherty faced an additional charge of possessing a Class B drug, cannabis, in a separate incident.
At Hastings Magistrates’ Court, both pleaded guilty and received a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. They were also ordered to pay costs and compensation totalling £680 to the South East Coast Ambulance Service.
Detective Constable Sam Collyer remarked on the community’s shock at this crime, expressing satisfaction with the resolution. He noted Lucy Russell’s significant remorse and hoped the sentence would foster reflection and long-term behavioural change.
Rising Trend of Defibrillator Vandalism
Alarmingly, vandalism and theft of defibrillators in the UK have surged.
Data reveals that in 2020, around 61 defibrillators were stolen, dropping slightly to 54 in 2021.
However, 2022 saw a doubling in reports, affecting 112 devices.
The vandalism of these crucial life-saving tools endangers communities and reflects a disturbing trend of criminal negligence and profit-driven thefts.
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