A DRUNKEN tenant broke into a former bakery in Holsworthy and stole irreplaceable Perspex windows from a vintage car, a jury has been told.
Andrew Yarrow allegedly smashed open the lock of the building in Church Lane after an early hours drinking spree.
The former bakery was being used by owner Ian Reginald Headon as a garage to store vintage cars which he designed himself.
All of his cars were named after his initials and the one which was damaged was called IRH7 because it was the seventh racing car he had built.
Mr Headon was planning to restore the unique car, which he built and raced in 1967, to its former glory but found it vandalised when he checked the building after Yarrow’s drunken intrusion, Exeter Crown Court was told.
The two side window panels either side of the driver’s seat had been unbolted and were missing and there was a dent in the bonnet caused by someone standing on it.
The missing parts, which are only worth £30 in monetary value, are irreplaceable because any new panels will not be part of the original car.
Yarrow, 36, who was living next to the garage at the time but is now of North Road, Holsworthy, denies burglary. He says he found the door broken open and went in to check nothing had been disturbed.
Mr Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said neighbours Maggie Appleby and Christopher Leese saw Yarrow breaking in at 7am and using what looked like a large barrel to smash open the lock.
He said: "The owner was told and checked the building and found various items moved around. His IRH7 racing car, which he built in 1967, was missing two side screens.”
He said another neighbour met Yarrow in the street and realised he was drunk, despite the early hour, and was told he had been drinking for some time before.
In a statement Mr Headon told the jury: ”On the day I had been away in Birmingham and returned on the Sunday night to find a message on my phone saying the garage had been broken into.
“I went to check and found a gas bottle half way up the stairs and CB radio equipment moved around.
“We went back in the morning when it was light and found numerous items moved but nothing damaged.
“The two side screens on the IRH7 racing car which I built in 1967 had been removed. They will cost £30 to replace but it is most upsetting because they are the original parts from when I built the car.
“It also looks as if someone stood on the car to reach a cupboard, leaving a large dent. It can be repaired when the car is restored in due course.”