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Children left terrified as gang attack family car
9:50am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
A MAN has been jailed after being part of a gang which smashed up a car after an argument which left frightened children cowering in the back seat.
Worcester man Michael Dicapita, aged 24, wielded a wooden plank as he and three others chased down a car being driven by Jimmy Butler, who was taking his wife and two children to McDonald’s in Blackpole on November 18 last year.
One of the men smashed the driver’s side window with a wooden plank, and when Mr Butler pulled away and went to a nearby pub to call police, the attack continued, smashing more windows on the car and causing almost £1,000 of damage.
The attack started because Dicapita believed one of his friends had been in an argument with Mr Butler earlier on and had been drinking, the court heard.
Judge Patrick Thomas QC said while he accepted Dicapita was not the main culprit in hitting the car – instead being a “secondary threatening character” – it was still an “utterly stupid” thing to do.
“This was an extremely unpleasant incident,” he told him. “There were kids in that car. You and your mates must have frightened them very much, whatever the rights and wrongs of your arguments with the driver.
“To carry out an attack on a car which has got very young children inside is simply unacceptable, and unforgivable.”
He said there was “nothing else” he could do but impose an immediate custodial sentence of eight months, and warned him he needed to “grow up”.
Judith Kenney, defending, said Dicapita had started committing crimes aged just 13, as his younger sister had behavioural difficulties and so their parents devoted much of their time to trying to give her a normal life.
“He soon realised if he committed offences he would have a group of friends around him,” she said.
He was able to stay out of trouble as long as he had a job, as he was “against” applying for benefits.
“He should never have got involved in this,” she added.
“Drink clouded his judgement and he made a foolish decision.”
The sentence will run concurrently with a separate prison sentence imposed for possession of Class B drugs, which ends in November.
Judge Thomas told him unless he stopped his current pattern of behaviour, the future looked “bleak”.
“You keep on committing these utterly stupid offences,” he added.
“It’s about time this nonsense stopped and you grew up.
“When trouble starts, put your hands in your pockets and just walk away.”