UK News

Two men in court charged with tearing up Washington football fields with cars UK News

Two men are due to appear in court for tearing up football fields while deliberately driving a car on the grass.

Thousands of pounds of damage were caused to North Zone playing fields in Washington, home of the AFC in Washington, after the pitches were cut in October 2020.

The pitches were covered in tire tracks from cars driving the pitch, rendering it unusable for the club’s 50 adult and child teams and costing over £ 2,000 to repair.

The incident prompted plans that were recently approved by Sunderland City Council, which leases the grounds to the club, to erect a new high fence, pedestrian gates and a vehicle gate to deter future damage to the site .

Northumbria Police said an investigation has been opened into the damage with officers conducting various inquiries in an attempt to locate those responsible.

Damage to AFC Washington grounds
Damage to AFC Washington grounds

Now two men, from Ryton and Morpeth, are due in court charged with a series of damage-related offenses.

20-year-old man faces charges of dangerous driving, criminal damage and no insurance, while 24-year-old man will answer charges of assisting and encouraging dangerous driving, criminal damage and the lack of recourse to insurance.

Both men are due to appear before South Tyneside magistrates in June.

Northumbria Police Sergeant Patrick Scott said: “It is always disappointing to see such insane damage and there is no doubt that it has caused significant angst for the club and members of the community.

“Accordingly, we are committed to ensuring that anyone found responsible is brought to justice for these crimes.

“I would ask the public to avoid speculation and respect the ongoing criminal proceedings, but I would like to thank the community for their cooperation and support over the past six months.

“We will not tolerate willful acts of criminal harm and will continue to prosecute the minority of individuals whose irresponsible and reckless actions bring misery to those who live in our region.”

Sunderland Live Info Box

Want the latest Sunderland news straight to your inbox?

Type your email address in the “sign up box” at the top of this article, click “subscribe” and you will receive your first newsletter in the next release. You can also click here to register online.

Fiona Brown, Director General of Neighborhoods for Sunderland City Council, added: “It is disappointing to know that a small minority of residents continue to show little respect for our city and spoil things for the rest of the community.

“Sunderland City Council will continue to work with the Washington AFC and Northumbria Police to target people who believe this type of behavior is acceptable.

“We can and will take action against anyone caught engaging in anti-social behavior. If you know of anyone involved in this type of behavior, I encourage you to report it to Sunderland City Council, and we will act accordingly to ensure residents stay happy and safe.