Residents and business owners are being encouraged to report acts of vandalism after a man was handed a hefty fine for breaking a shop window.

Joshua Murdy, 25, admitted causing criminal damage to the front of the 10 Outta 10 store in Halstead High Street when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

The damage, which was caused on August 24 last year, left shop owners Issette Leach and Scott Rogers with a hefty repair bill after their main window was left badly cracked.

Murdy, of Abels Road, Halstead, was ordered to pay £552.25 in compensation, a £153 fine and further £115 in costs.

With the outcome of legal proceedings now complete, Mr Rogers is encouraging other victims of crime in Halstead to come forward and report incidents to police to prevent further instances of vandalism.

He said: “I would hope the conviction acts as a deterrent to people who wish to behave like that.

“There were lots of people at the time commenting online that we were wasting our time pursuing it and the police would do nothing, so I hope those people can see that it’s worth speaking out when these things happen.

“It’s a large fine for an individual to have to pay so if news spreads that you can get caught and that can happen then hopefully people will think twice.

“I am very happy with the determination of the officer in charge of our case to bring it to court as well.

“It was ongoing work for months and he did not let it go.”

The 10 Outta 10 store was one of several high street businesses targeted by vandals last summer.

Other stores which suffered criminal damage on the same night as 10 Outta 10 included Billson Optician, the Original Factory Shop, the Men’s Room, and Clintons Cards.

Thefts of lead were also reported from rooftops of high street buildings in the weeks before.

The surge in crime lead to the then Braintree district commander Craig Carrington appealing for victims to come forward and report any issues.

He said: “We are able to take action against all criminals and we will arrest people and put them before the courts.

“We want to work with residents and businesses who are victims of crime.

“I would encourage to come everyone to come forward to report any crimes they see or suspicious behaviour.

“We will take positive action against all criminals.

“My team will patrol Halstead and the entire district and aim to deliver the best possible service we can.”