A British sailing star scratched his love rival's car and left it with £6000 ($10,000) of damage after seeing him in a picture with his ex-girlfriend, a court heard.

Ross Harvey, winner of the national Laser championships, used a power tool to scratch Joshua Reay's Audi A4 after he spotted a photograph of him with his former partner Charlotte Goodwin-Simpson, 27.

Magistrates heard the 30-year-old damaged the windscreen and panels of Reay's vehicle outside the couple's home in Southsea, near Portsmouth, on December 4 last year.

He admitted causing criminal damage and, at court on Friday, was given a 12-month community service order and 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £3000 compensation.


Harvey, a member of Bowmoor Sailing Club, has had a successful sailing career and is believed to have competed in a number of races including the Solo National Championships, where he placed 4th, as well as European and World qualifiers.

His defence lawyer, Paul Cantrill, told the court he has also previously come first in the Laser championships, where entrants compete in small sailing dinghies. He is believed to have been placed in the top 10 at the championships on a number of occasions.

The court in Swindon, Wiltshire, heard that Harvey fell into depression after he and Goodwin-Simpson, a fellow sailor, broke up at the same time as he lost work as a sailing instructor.

Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said Harvey continually texted and emailed her after the split, but she rejected his advances and struck up a relationship with Reay, who describes himself as an architect on social media.

On December 4, after spotting a picture of the lovers on the internet, police saw Harvey walking down the dead-end street where the couple lived.

Officers are believed to have become suspicious after hearing the power tool being started. He was arrested after residents reported seeing him using the tool to damage the car.

Harvey, from Swindon, later admitted his crime and apologised for his actions.

Goodwin-Simpson told police she had ongoing issues with Harvey and was worried and scared whenever she thought about them.

Cantrill said Harvey, who has no previous convictions, had been upset and "lost his cool" after seeing the photograph.

"He is an extremely talented sailor, has taken part in the World and European championships and was number one in the Laser championships. He has done a lot of work with disabled children, teaching them to sail."

Harvey was also placed under a 12-month restraining order and banned from having contact of any kind with his ex-girlfriend.

Chairwoman of the bench Natalie O'Connell told him he had to concentrate on working with the probation service on overcoming his problems.

The damage caused to the Audi was estimated at £6000 but he was ordered to pay £3000 as that was what the car was believed to be worthworth.