A NEW business owner, who was "in a very dark place" emotionally, used his car to crash into a neighbour's garage.

Forhad Ali, 34, of Shannon Close, Saltney, admitted causing criminal damage to the garage wall which was part of Marilyn Hartley's property.

Ali, who represented himself, explained to the court his life was now more "rosy" and he was very apologetic to Ms Hartley, willing to pay the compensation for repairs.

Magistrates fined Ali £230 when he appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, August 31.

Prosecuting, Rob Youds said it was on June 22 at about 2pm when police on patrol spotted a Peugeot drive away from the scene at Shannon Close . The vehicle had crashed into the neighbour's garage and there was damage to the side wall.

The vehicle returned moments later and Ali was driving.

Ali was arrested and breath-tested, but produced a reading of zero.

In police interview, Ali said he had wanted to harm himself and admitted criminal damage.

Ali had three previous convictions, all for dissimilar matters, with his last conviction in 2008.

A report from probation said Ali was fully co-operative.

He had been experiencing stress at the time after starting a new business and there were problems in his marital relationship.

The bid to harm himself was in "a moment of madness" and out of character, while the victim was a neighbour who had been a friend of the family for 20 years.

Defending, Ali said: "As explained, the stress of a new business – [it] was not going as how I thought it was going to go, but things are now a lot more rosy.

"I'm really remorseful for what I have done. It was totally out of character for me. I can only just apologise sincerely for what I have done. I am willing to pay her compensation for the garage, the repair has taken place last week so I am happy to pay the receipt."

In addition to the £230 fine, Ali must pay £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

A compensation order had not been produced as costs for the garage repair had not been submitted to the court.