Man pleads guilty after driving digger into newly built Travelodge over alleged non-payment

03 September 2019 by
Man pleads guilty after driving digger into newly built Travelodge over alleged non-payment

A construction worker has admitted intentionally driving a digger into the front of a Liverpool Travelodge after his employers allegedly failed to pay him.

John Manley, 35, drove into the front of the Liverpool Innovation Park site on 21 January - the same day the building was due to be completed.

The father-of-two admitted criminal damage at an earlier hearing, and had been due to stand trial on Monday, but then he also pleaded guilty to damaging property being reckless as to whether life is endangered before the Liverpool Crown Court trial began.

Footage from the scene showed the vehicle repeatedly smashing into the reception of the Travelodge in Edge Lane, with the clip spreading quickly on Twitter after the incident.

Brendan Carville, defending, said: "He accepts he intended to cause that damage."

He added: "There were social problems which caused this offence, notably the failure of his immediate employers to pay him over the Christmas period and asking him to work for nothing on the eve of this offence.

"He has two young children."

Mr Carville asked for the sentencing to be adjourned so a psychiatric report could be prepared.

Merseyside Police were called to the hotel shortly after 3pm on 21 January, but said the driver left the vehicle and made off on foot in the direction of Edge Lane.

A force spokesman said one man experienced eye irritation due to exposure to diesel and was treated at the scene by North West Ambulance Service.

Manley has been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on 1 November.

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