Cattermole admits to damaging cars

The captain of a Premier League football club has admitted causing thousands of pounds of damage to cars parked near the home of his team's arch rivals, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole accepted a conditional caution for vandalising five vehicles parked in Stowell Street in Newcastle's China Town.

Team-mate Nicklas Bendtner was originally also charged with the offence but the case against him was dropped.

The CPS said by accepting the caution Cattermole would have to reimburse all of those left out of pocket by his actions, a figure in excess of £4,000.

Clare Donaldson, head of CPS North East's magistrates' court unit, said: "Through the action taken we have ensured that all of the victims in this case have been swiftly reimbursed for the damage caused by Cattermole's irresponsible actions.

"By accepting the conditional caution at this stage, he has also accepted his guilt in relation to all five vehicles, something that may have taken significantly longer for us to prove in court."

In a statement the CPS said it works with a set of 12 principles, one of which says it will use "out-of-court disposals", where appropriate, "to gain speedy reparation for victims and to rehabilitate or punish offenders".

Ms Donaldson said: "While a prosecution was initially considered in this case, the appropriate use of a conditional caution has ensured that reparations have been made, not only swiftly, but also on a scale that may have otherwise been difficult to ensure."

Cattermole, 24, from Aislaby, near Yarm, Teesside, damaged the cars close to Newcastle's stadium during a night out in December.