Man jailed for driving digger into hotel
A digger driver who smashed up the entrance to a Travelodge hotel in Liverpool, England, has been sentenced to five years in jail.
John Manley caused more than £443,000 ($AU871,458) in damage after going on a rampage in a digger, tearing down walls and driving the vehicle into the lobby.
The 36-year-old went on the rampage on January 21, 2019, the day the project was to be handed over, because he was owed £600 ($AU1180) in wages and had not been paid over the Christmas period.
In video captured by a coworker, people can be heard telling the man driving the digger that they would give him the £600 themselves.
Merseyside Police issued a statement saying that they were investigating the incident, and that "one man experienced eye irritation due to exposure to diesel".
According to BBC, Judge David Aubrey QC said Manley was "intent on maximum damage and intended to leave a trail of destruction".
He said Manley had caused "destruction in the extreme" and put the safety of those inside and outside the building at risk.
The father-of-two was reportedly angry he could not afford electricity or food because he had not been paid, and so could not have his children over to stay.
Many on Twitter were shocked at the harsh sentence.
Maybe I’m just going soft in my old age, but we have rapists, paedophiles, burglars, and some of society’s nastiest people handed less of a prison sentence than a man who smashed up the front of a Travelodge with a mini-digger after they screwed him for his Christmas wages 🤷🏼♀️— Rachael Swindon #UTFC (@Rachael_Swindon) February 26, 2020
And on the same day a lad who murdered a 16 year old school boy in cold blood was let of prison out after less than 12 months. Feel for victims family also with the digger driver- frustration over non payment of wages is understandable. I hope Travelodge had to pay too— Cath Musetti (@musetti_cath) February 27, 2020
This is crazy. How can you only get 2 years for killing your own mum? Yet the guy who damaged a travelodge hotel with a digger got 5 years. 😳— Mark Watson (@Marky2211) February 27, 2020
This is an absolute disgrace. A man fighting for his wages to feed his family gets over 5 yrs in prison. This is an warning how this government will use the judiciary to protect their own. https://t.co/rvLM2eRxFm— Derek Hatton (@DegsyHatton) February 26, 2020
I'm not saying I condone smashing the front of a Travellodge in (even if you did help build it). But the man who did it was owed pay at Christmas time, and over five years in jail is more than many paedophiles and rapists get— Will Black (@WillBlackWriter) February 26, 2020
Can’t believe that fella who took the travelodge down in a digger got 5 and a half years! He only wanted paying the money he was owed!! Some pedophiles get less than that 🤔👎🏻— Thommo. (@ThommoLightbody) February 26, 2020