A FRUSTRATED man who smashed the windows of a Malvern solicitors firm told a court he did it as he wanted legal advice.

Richard Edwards told Worcester Magistrates Court yesterday that he travelled from his Birmingham home to Russell and Co Solicitors' office because he wanted to get legal advice but admitted out of frustration he smashed the 10 windows, causing £2,000 damage.

Prosecuting, Kerry Lovegrove said police were called to the firm, based in Church Street, on October 20, and officers found the 44-year-old sitting on the wall.

“He admitted damaging the windows by throwing bricks, stones and house bricks,” Miss Lovegrove said.

“He said he took a train to Malvern to make an appointment. It was closed. He was angry, he admits it was out of frustration.”

Edwards, of Warwick Passage, Birmingham, represented himself and there was a lengthy exchange as he was questioned by chairman of the magistrates bench Wendy Coggan, who tried to establish what had happened.

Edwards said he smashed the windows as he felt the only way he was going to be heard about another police matter “was to break the law, to get a solicitor.”

Miss Coggan replied: “It didn’t work very well, did it,” and explained the court could only deal with the criminal damage offence he had pleaded guilty to.

Miss Coggan asked for a probation report to help clarify what had happened, telling probation officers: “He doesn’t seem to realise he has done it – the damage was significant.”

Probation officer Michael Weston later explained that Edwards had been trying to contact a specific solicitor but had not been able to, so went to the Malvern office to see him.

Mr Weston said the issue was that Edwards felt wronged by police over a number of years, and wanted the solicitor to represent him, which led to him becoming frustrated and smashing the windows.

Mr Weston said: “He now accepts this was never going to work,” and added that he had helped Edwards with advice for the other matter.

Edwards was given a 12-month community order with 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation, £135 costs and £85 victim surcharge- a total of £2,200, which was added to the outstanding money he already owed to the courts.