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Unemployed man who had been sleeping in a recycling bin caused £3,000 worth of damage to Jobcentre Plus

PUBLISHED: 09:17 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 25 November 2017

Terrence Brooker, who had been sleeping in a recycling bin prior to finding new accommodation, said he left the Jobcentre with no money to even pay for food. Photo: Luke Powell

Terrence Brooker, who had been sleeping in a recycling bin prior to finding new accommodation, said he left the Jobcentre with no money to even pay for food. Photo: Luke Powell

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A former production line worker has explained why he broke into his local Jobcentre and caused £3,000 worth of damage.

Terrence Brooker used a concrete block to smash the front window of a Jobcentre Plus in Great Yarmouth in the early hours of August 31 this year.

Once inside, he then used chairs to damage multiple computer monitors before leaving.

The 59-year-old appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday after he was identified on CCTV and arrested.

Recorder Guy Ayers sentenced him to 22-weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

Speaking after the hearing, Brooker, of Paget Road, explained the sequence of events that led to the rampage.

Brooker said he was summoned to the Jobcentre Plus on The Conge on August 30, shortly after he had secured a new room in the town.

“They wanted proof of tenancy and a sickness certificate, which I provided to them,” Mr Brooker said.

“But when I got there, they said they wanted another back-dated certificate, which takes two days to get.

“Because of that, they said I would need to make another appointment [next month] and they were not going to pay me.”

Brooker, who had been sleeping in a recycling bin prior to finding new accommodation, said he left the centre with not even enough money for food.

The following morning, at around 3am, he said he “snapped” as he walked past the premises.

“I was walking back from my friend’s house, and I was hungry and weak,” he said.

“I then fell over, smashed my phone and that just set me off.

“I thought ‘if they are going to mess with me, I am going to mess with them’.”

Prosecutor Oliver Haswell told Norwich Crown Court that Brooker did not steal anything once inside.

He added that Brooker had a previous “low-level” conviction from 2000, but nothing since.

The court heard how he admitted to what he had done when police visited his house. He later pleaded guilty to burglary.

Recorder Ayres told Brooker his actions were “completely unacceptable”.

A Jobcentre spokesman said: “We do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour and we report any such case to the police.”

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