A banned golf club member who poured weed killer over a course green before being rumbled by the groundskeeper has been spared jail.
Balaclava-clad Glen Newton, 55, was spotted on the green at the third hole pouring fertiliser by the groundskeeper John Rowbottom, 33, on CCTV at Woolley Park Golf Club in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
When Rowbottom spotted the masked man on CCTV on 19 April last year at 8.45pm, he quickly jumped into his car to reach the golf course just a few hundred metres away, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported.
There had been a series of vandalism attacks on the course greens so the club decided to install the CCTV in a bid to catch the perpretator.
Newton, a former miner, tried to scarper off but was described in court as slipping into the path of the Rowbottom, causing a collision, before the club employee gave chase.
He managed to catch up Newton and rip the balaclava off his head and film him on his phone, which was key to his prosecution. Newton was later arrested and admitted guilt, the paper reported.
Newton had armed himself with a watering can full of liquid glyphosate he poured on the green under the cover of darkness.
Newton disputed the total amount of the damage presented by the golf club, which came to £15,837, however, he admitted one charge of causing criminal damage. He has no previous convictions, the court heard.
It was said Newton had issues with the clubs owners, who had terminated his membership due to his behaviour towards the staff and that: "No other members wished to play golf with him."
The judge, recorder Dafydd Enoch, QC, gave him a three-month jail term, suspended for 12 months and ordered him to pay £10,000 in compensation.
He told Newton: "I do not know what possessed you to behave in that way.
"I'm sure there's two sides to every story, there almost always is.
"But the fact is you took the law into your own hands and in a completely planned and premeditated way, you decided you were going to seriously damage these people's green.
"You obtained the equipment and you disguised yourself. You caused great distress to the person who faced you.
"The result is that you did what you set out to do, which was to cause serious damage."
Newton, of Netherfield Crescent, Netherton, admitted causing criminal damage.