A Mercedes owned by a former Swansea City footballer was one of five cars smashed up in a car park in a matter minutes.

Around £11,000 worth of damage was done to Bersant Celina's Mercedes when Lee Draper smashed the car's glass panoramic roof and broke windows as he searched for things to steal in Swansea last year.

After vandalising five cars in the car park Draper then broke into a nearby bar, and stole bottles of alcohol.

Sending him to prison, a judge at Swansea Crown Court told the defendant he had gone on a "rampage" of offending on the night in question.

Hannah George, prosecuting, said on the night of January 31 last year Draper went into the Premier Inn hotel on Little Wind Street in Swansea city centre asking if he could use the toilet. The request was refused, and the defendant made his way to the nearby NCP multi-storey car park.

Miss George said once in the car park Draper began smashing car windows, ripping off mirrors, and damaging body panels. Searches were then made of the vehicles.

One of the cars trashed was a Mercedes S63 AMG owned by Bersant Celina who at the time played for Swansea City. The Merc's glass panoramic roof was smashed along with a number of windows, and the interior of the car was showered with fragments of glass. An Audi S5 was also attacked - suffering £6,000 of damage - along with another Mercedes, a Toyota and a Kia.

Lee Draper
Lee Draper

Draper then left the car park and went to the nearby Bunkers! bar where he forced a door and entered the premises. Once inside he stole eight bottles of alcohol and a jar of nuts.

The court heard police were soon on the scene, and just after 5am the "extremely intoxicated" defendant was found with bottles of alcohol in the delivery yard of the Iceland supermarket a short distance away on St Mary's Square. A search revealed he also had two small bottles of the heroin substitute methadone which had not been prescribed to him. A police dog and handler later found a pair of gloves which had been worn by the defendant and which were covered in pieces of broken glass.

In his subsequent interview the 36-year-old gave police a prepared statement in which he admitted the bar burglary but denied causing any damage to cars.

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The court heard he was charged by post with the offences in October 2020, and given a date to attend Swansea Magistrates Court in November. When he failed to appear before justices a warrant was issued for his arrest. Draper came to the attention of police again in January this year when he damaged doors, windows and a garden fence at his former partner's house after drinking a bottle of pink gin.

Draper, formerly of Colby Road, Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, but now of Cilgerran Place, Winch Wen, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal damage, burglary, and possession of a Class A drug when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

He has 37 previous convictions for 78 offences, including 43 for burglaries and theft matters.

Andrew Evans, defending Draper, said the common link which ran through the defendant's history of offending was the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances. He said since being arrested in January his client had been reflecting on his life, and the path he was taking.

Judge Geraint Walters told Draper he had gone on a "rampage" of offending and wanton damage.

Giving the defendant credit for his guilty pleas the judge sentenced him to a total of 12 months in prison. Draper will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence under the UK government's early release scheme to serve the remainder in the community.