TWO drunk friends who went on a 12-minute wrecking spree in a pub car park have been spared jail - despite causing more than £12,000 worth of damage.

Sam Kent, 26, of Dovervelt Road, Canvey, and drinking buddy Jak Bruce, 27, smashed up 11 cars outside the Smuggler’s Den in Pooles Lane, Hullbridge.

Basildon Crown Court heard police found the pair in an “agitated state” after their rampage and had to forcibly restrain them on the floor.

Kent was banned from driving for two years after the court heard he also drove into a van and then gave chase as the terrified driver tried to flee. Both had been on an all-day bender on May 25.

Charlotte Davison, prosecuting, said Kent was caught on CCTV driving into the car park in a small van shortly before 10pm.

Footage played to the court showed Kent nudging a stationary van containing two people before reversing and then driving towards it at speed.

The other driver managed to reverse out of the way and exit the car park, but Kent gave chase. The driver was able to shake him off.

A victim impact statement read to the court said: “I didn’t know why he was banging into my car. It was hit so hard the whole van shook and rocked.

“I was seriously concerned for my safety and the safety of my passenger. I was scared it was going to ram me again.”

Footage showed the pair returning to the car park on foot a few minutes later, where they spent 12 minutes smashing windows and damaging bodywork with a hammer and spirit level.

An Audi A4 sustained more than £7,000 worth of damage while another car was written-off. The total amount of damage was calculated at £12,669, although most was claimed on insurance.

Miss Davison said: “They were arrested nearby. They were described as being in an agitated state, they were screaming and they had to be taken to the floor.”

The incident with the van only came to light the next day, so Kent was not breathalysed. He admitted dangerous driving and three counts of criminal damage. Bruce, of Watchgate, Dartford, admitted eight counts of criminal damage.

The court heard Kent was “very remorseful” while Bruce could not remember a thing.

Judge Samantha Leigh handed both men a three-year community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work and a thinking skills course. Both must pay some compensation to the drivers who did not claim on insurance.

She said: “How on earth you have both got yourself in to this situation is really quite incomprehensible. It just doesn’t make sense. Mindless violence and vandalism are the only words that spring to mind.”