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Pensioner jailed after 'bizarre' crime spree

A 62-YEAR-OLD widow who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage by carving swear words on dozens of cars during a 10-month crime spree was yesterday jailed for six months.

Pensioner Elaine Meredith, who was living in Caldicot, south Wales, at the time, was caught by a car owner whose car she had damaged.

The Cardiff Crown Court heard that Gary Smith was in his house when he heard a sound "like the noise of chalk on a blackboard". The 32-year-old went to investigate and found an obscenity had been scraped on the bonnet of his car. An elderly woman was "cowering" against a fence.

Meredith was arrested, and police brought in a handwriting expert who said the probability was high that several cases of criminal damage to cars in the Caldicot area had been done by the same author.

Detective Constable Martin Harries earlier described it as the "most bizarre case" he had encountered.