A DIGGER driver who smashed the vehicle's bucket into the roof of his parents' static caravan while his mum was inside has been fined £1,000.

Nigel Hull had been for a lunchtime drink at his local before getting on to the vehicle in a fit of rage over a row with his estranged family.

The 49-year-old claimed he only wanted to shift the caravan after disconnecting the power and water and didn't mean to cause it any damage.

But he accepted he was reckless when he caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the roof as well as smashing through a fence and washing line.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the defendant and his parents lived on the same farm near Brinkworth.

As part of the deal when they bought it Hull and his wife lived in the farmhouse while his parents were in the mobile home, brought especially from Suffolk.

But after a series of family fall outs which saw both marriages being put under strain the defendant, after a lunchtime drink on Sunday October 8, went home and decided to evict his parents from the garden.

He disconnected the water, drains and electricity before getting into the digger, saying he planned to use it to move the mobile home to make it uninhabitable.

However he insisted he was not aware that his parents were inside their home until he was trying to move it from its hardstanding.

Miss Hingston said his mum had seen what she thought was a tractor coming towards them and shouted to her husband, who was asleep in the living room.

As his dad was at the door his mum heard a loud bang as the living room ceiling was damaged by the bucket on the digger.

In a victim personal statement she said her son was at the end of his tether at the time and would not like to see the incident damage the business he had developed.

Hull, of Clitchbury Cottage, Brinkworth, pleaded guilty to criminal damage having denied damage endangering life.

George Threlfall, defending, said his client had not intended to cause the damage but was reckless using the digger, which belonged to a friend and had been left in his yard.

The incident was wholly out of character, he said, and only caused a small amount of damage to the home, which he had paid £2,100 to be repaired within 36 hours.

He said that 45 character references had been submitted all speaking of his generosity and professionalism as a heavy haulier.

Although he was separated from his wife at the time they are trying to stay together with their three-year-old child.

Passing sentence Judge Robert Pawson said the offences happened: "Following the very sad breakdown of your relationship with your partner, which I won't go in to the ins and outs of.

"Suffice to say your mother and your wife fell out and the consequences were visited on your father and yourself.

"But, be that as it may and whatever was said, there was no excuse for what you did."