SUNDERLAND footballer Lee Cattermole has been forced to pay more than £4,000 in compensation after admitting a car wrecking spree in Newcastle, prosecutors have said.
Black Cats skipper Cattermole was arrested alongside Denmark international Nicklas Bendtner after a spate of vehicles were attacked just streets away from Newcastle United’s St James’ Park ground last December.
Now – after Bendtner, 23, was cleared of all charges – Cattermole has admitted causing damage to five vehicles during the attack on Stowell Street.
His victims have been reimbursed and handed compensation packages which totalled £4,168.27 after the 23-year-old appeared before Newcastle magistrates.
Cattermole had originally faced criminal prosecution but the Crown Prosecution Service last night said they had cut short the proceedings to gain a “speedy reparation for victims” after the £6m midfielder admitted the charges.
He accepted a conditional caution that can be brought up in court and impact on sentencing should he commit further criminal offences.
Clare Donaldson, the head of CPS North East’s Magistrates’ Court Unit, said: “Through the action taken we have ensured that all of the victims in this case have been swiftly reimbursed for the damage caused by Cattermole’s irresponsible actions.
“By accepting the conditional caution at this stage, he has also accepted his guilt in relation to all five vehicles, something that may have taken significantly longer for us to prove in court.”
Police launched an investigation after receiving reports of criminal damage being caused at around 10pm on December 6.
Cattermole, of Darras Hall in Ponteland, and Bendtner, both 23, were arrested and questioned over the attacks, but last month Bendtner was told he would no longer face charges.
Damage to a Land Rover Defender came to £1,159.15 and that £2,279.12 worth of damage was caused to a Mini Cooper S. There was also £380 of damage caused to a Toyota Rav 4, £300 to a Mercedes and £50 to a Renault Clio. Mrs Donaldson said: “While a prosecution was initially considered in this case, the appropriate use of a conditional caution has ensured that reparations have been made, not only swiftly, but also on a scale that may have otherwise been difficult to ensure.”
Cattermole, a former U21 England International and Middlesbrough player, is currently the subject of a ban from pubs and clubs in Stockton after pub bosses said he breached an existing order.
Stockton Pubwatch members voted to take action after a number of licensees reported him attempting to enter venues from which he was banned.
Cattermole and current Middlesbrough club captain Matthew Bates, were handed the ban in December 2008, after being arrested for disorder on a night out in Yarm. Cattermole had previously received a warning for bad behaviour in the town.
Last night a spokesman for Sunderland AFC refused to comment on the latest developments in the legal case.
Cattermole could return to the Sunderland team against Bolton today after he was sent off after the final whistle in the March Tyne-Wear derby.