A BUDDHIST was so upset by accidentally treading on an insect that he randomly slashed the tyres of 162 cars in an East Riding market town, a court heard.
Julian Glew, 45, was living rough in the woods near Pocklington at the time of the incidents last September.
The court heard that the “Pocklington Piercer” told police that he was venting his frustration on society “without hurting people” at a time “when he was far away from civilisation”.
When he was arrested he admitted the criminal damage, but skipped a bail hostel and was on the run for several six weeks.
Joanne Markham, defending, told Beverley Magistrates at one stage Glew lived in a Buddhist monastery: “It was an insect which appears to have upset him; he was not in a good way and on three evenings he has gone out and randomly slashed tyres,” she said
She said Glew had “some history of mental health issues” and suggested sessions with the Probation Service would be difficult because he lives “without means in various inaccessible locations.”
Glew pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three offences of criminal damage and one of failing to surrender.
Jailing Glew, who will be under supervision of the Probation Service for a year, for 11 weeks, District Judge Fred Rutherford expressed incredulity at his claims not to want to harm anybody “but nevertheless (he) went out of his way to affect at least 162 people”.
And he said it did not seem to fit the profile of a person who had lived in a monastery “in peaceful co-existence”
Speaking afterwards, Det Sgt John Burrell of Humberside Police said the case had been unprecedented in the “pleasant and peaceful” town and had caused upset and financial loss to many.
He described Glew’s excuse as “drivel”, adding: “His is not a particularly coherent theological view and I don’t think adherents of Buddhism would share the view that it was OK to inconvenience hundreds of people on account of an accident.”