A MAN damaged an advertising sign out of frustration because a group of children had been teasing him about his “disheveled” appearance, a court heard.

Appearing in custody at Wrexham Magistrates Court on New Year's Day, Paul Evans, 49, of Hywelfa in Southsea, admitted damaging a sign outside the shop Phone Doctor in Wrexham Bus Station on September 30.

He also admitted failing to appear for a court hearing on December 29.

Prosecutor Helen Hall said at about 2.30pm on September 30 the owner of Phone Doctor was outside his premises and saw Evans being “tormented” by a group of children.

He then heard a bang and went to look, finding the sign had been thrown on the floor and damaged “beyond repair” following which Evans was arrested.

Ms Hall told the hearing: “At interview he made a full admission and told officers he had been hounded by a gang of local youths around the town who made fun of his appearance.”

Stephan Edwards, defending, told the court Evans had been minding his own business when a group of youths had begun making fun of him because he looked disheveled in his coat and boots.

He said his client had suffered from mental health problems for the last 12 to 18 months and the way the youngsters treated him had been the catalyst for his frustration and the reason behind him throwing the sign to the ground.

Mr Edwards said: “He has has a bad 2017. We can only hope 2018 is a better year for him."

Speaking of Evans’ failure to attend court on December 29, Mr Edwards added: “He had believed that his date was in the New Year, a mistake which has had consequences.”

Terry Eastwood, chairman of the magistrates, told Evans: “We are sympathetic to your difficulties but a shopkeeper should not have to pay for that.

"It is not a good way to start the New Year. Try to make a new start."

Mr Eastwood made a compensation order for £50 and awarded costs of £50. No other punishments were made.