Jealous lover cut rival’s yachts adrift
A jealous love rival has avoided jail after he set a millionaire’s £450,000 yacht adrift having caught his girlfriend on board.
David Taylor, 54, found 26-year-old Hannah Brookes sitting with Michael Hay, 58, on his 60ft boat Coco.
He claimed he saw her performing a sex act on Mr Hay and flying into a rage he cut the mooring ropes which tied it to the Newcastle Quayside, setting them adrift.
He also cut loose another boat owned by Mr Hay, called Vortex, sending both vessels drifting down the Tyne.
Mr Hay, a married father-of-two, was forced to call the fire brigade, the coastguard and the police to help get them to safety.
“There’s no proper reason apart from your own jealousy”
He denied the affair had ever taken place.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court the incident in November had begun earlier in the evening when Taylor and Ms Brookes had been on a date at the Pitcher and Piano pub.
But a row had started and Ms Brookes left, only for Taylor to spot her car near to Mr Hay’s boat.
The pair saw him peering in through the window as he stood on the pontoon and shortly after they realised they were drifting away from the shore.
Mr Hay then saw Taylor next to his other boat and that too began to drift away.
The court heard Mr Hay was able to start the engine on Coco and with the help of two police officers secure it to a jetty.
The second boat began to float down the river.
Sentencing Taylor to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, Judge Robert Adams said there had been “no proper reason apart from your own jealousy” for his actions.