Man Admits Driving Digger Into Travelodge Because He 'Wasn't Paid Over Christmas'
A dad has admitted driving a digger into a Travelodge after claiming he wasn't paid for work over Christmas.
John Manley, of St Aidan's Way, Netherton, had previously admitted causing criminal damage to the hotel in January this year, though he denied damaging property being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
The father-of-two also denied a charge of dangerous driving at at Liverpool Innovation Park in Milton Road.
However, on the opening day of his trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Manley admitted he put people's lives in danger at the construction site.
The 35-year-old - who was treated at hospital for mental health issues following the incident - pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accepted Manley's pleas and said the Crown would not offer any evidence with regards to the charge of dangerous driving.
Defending, Brendan Carville said his client accepted that he did intend to cause damage to the property.
He told the court that his client also knew he would be facing a custodial sentence but requested an adjournment to give enough time for a psychiatric report to be carried out.
Mr Carville said: "He's a family man and the concession is this is going to be immediate custody.
"He's had problems and there was social problems which caused this offence, notably the failure of his immediate employers to pay him over the Christmas period, then asking him to work for nothing on the eve of this offence.
"He has two young children your honour."
Judge Gary Woodhall granted the report and adjourned sentencing until 1 November. Manley will be remanded in custody until then.
He was originally arrested in June and has been in custody ever since.
Workers watched on as the orange digger mowed through the hotel's entrance shortly before 3pm on the day of the incident.
As the digger is driven up the steps, it tears through the front door. Glass doors and windows can be seen to shatter as parts of the framework collapse.
The clip was then posted on social media, with thousands of people watching, commenting, and retweeting it.
Shortly after being shared online, Merseyside Police released a statement which said: "We are appealing for information after damage was caused to a hotel under construction.
"A report was received shortly before 3pm that the digger was being driven into the entrance of the Travelodge building. The driver then left the vehicle and made off on foot.
"One man experienced an eye irritation due to exposure to diesel and was treated at the scene by North West Ambulance Service. It is not believed anyone else was injured in the incident.
"Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services and contractors attended to ensure the site was safe."
Featured Image Credit: Mercury Press