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Norwich man jailed for hammer attack on 21 refuse vehicles

PUBLISHED: 09:34 15 September 2011

Refuse lorries damaged in an attack at the Mile Cross Depot.

Refuse lorries damaged in an attack at the Mile Cross Depot.

Norwich man jailed for hammer attack on refuse vehicles

The jailing of a man who attacked more than 20 refuse vehicles with a hammer, causing disruption to bin collections in the city, has been welcomed.

Philip Powley, of Devonshire Street, off Old Palace Road, Norwich, was sentenced to nine months in prison at Norwich Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to damaging 21 vehicles at the Mile Cross-based waste and recycling depot in May this year.

Powley, 47, who was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court after admitting one count of damaging property, damaged 21 vehicles at the depot by smashing windscreens, headlights and indicators with a hammer causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

After the attack on May 18, staff at Biffa, which provides waste and recycling collections services for Norwich City Council, had to work through the night to repair as many vehicles as possible to try and keep disruption to a minimum.

A Biffa spokesman said: “We have never experienced criminal damage of this nature before and are grateful that the justice system has helped bring this matter to its conclusion.

“Thanks to the support and hard work of our staff and local and national suppliers the disruption to the services was minimal, once again we would like to thank everyone who assisted.”

Speaking after the incident, a spokesman said the company was “stunned” at what had happened and apologised to residents whose collections were disrupted in the aftermath of the attack.

He said: “Staff and truck and parts suppliers have worked hard through the night to repair enough vehicles to run a waste service as a priority, and they deserve the heartfelt thanks of everyone for their efforts.”

Norwich City Council thanked members of the public for their co-operation after the attack which meant that several people had to leave their waste and recycling out so it could be collected by contractors who worked over the weekend to help catch up.

Julie Westmacott, Norwich City Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods and environment, said she welcomed the fact the matter had been resolved following the court sentencing.

Powley was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on September 6.

Have you got a crime story for the Evening News? Call crime reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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