Man admits intentionally driving digger into Travelodge

A worker has admitted intentionally driving a digger into the front of a hotel after his employers allegedly failed to pay him.

John Manley, 35, drove into the front of the Travelodge in Liverpool Innovation Park on January 21, the day the building was due to be completed.

The father-of-two admitted criminal damage at an earlier hearing, and had been due to stand trial on Monday, but then he also pleaded guilty to damaging property being reckless as to whether life is endangered before the Liverpool Crown Court trial began.

Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said no evidence would be offered in relation to a charge of dangerous driving.

The digger inside the Travelodge
The digger inside the Travelodge (Samuel White/PA)

Footage showing the vehicle repeatedly smashing into the reception of the Travelodge in Edge Lane went viral online after the incident.

Brendan Carville, defending, said: “He accepts he intended to cause that damage.”

Mr Carville said Manley, who he described as a “family man”, conceded there would be an immediate custodial sentence.

He said: “There were social problems which caused this offence, notably the failure of his immediate employers to pay him over the Christmas period and asking him to work for nothing on the eve of this offence.

“He has two young children.”

Damage caused to the hotel in Edge Lane
Damage caused to the hotel in Edge Lane (Samuel White/PA)

Mr Carville asked for the sentencing to be adjourned so a psychiatric report could be prepared.

Merseyside Police were called to the hotel shortly after 3pm on January 21 but said the driver left the vehicle and made off on foot in the direction of Edge Lane.

A force spokesman said one man experienced eye irritation due to exposure to diesel and was treated at the scene by North West Ambulance Service.

Manley, of St Aidan’s Way in Netherton, was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on November 1.

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