A PLANT hire boss has taken crushing revenge on an employee he discovered had been sending flirty text messages to his girlfriend - by destroying his car with a 13-tonne digger.
Martin Wright, who runs Martin Wright Plant Hire and Ground Works, decided to exact retribution after seeing risque text messages and several missed calls from his former friend and staff member, Anthony Simpson, on his partner's mobile phone.
Shortly afterwards, he saw Mr Simpson's green Toyota Land Cruiser parked in Percival Close, Hartington, and decided to teach him a lesson by crushing the 4x4 vehicle using a JCB JS70 track machine.
The total damage is thought to have cost in the region of £5000.
The businessman was today due to appear at Chesterfield Magistrate's Court in connection with the incident, and said he would be pleading guilty to charges of criminal damage.
However, he feels his actions were justified and told the News Telegraph: "If you mess with fire you're going to get burned. It's just not on, he'd been ringing her up and texting her.
"All the lads I work with know what I'm like. They know they can borrow things off me, ask for money, whatever and then I get paid back like this. Its just one thing you don't do to your mates."
Mr Simpson had been working for Mr Wright for more than four years and before the incident they were described as 'friends'.
However, he has now left the company. Despite the damage to his vehicle, Mr Simpson described his former employee's actions as 'hilarious'.
He said: "I just thought it was funny. I watched him do it and let him get on with it.
"We used to be mates, it's stung me a bit, but these things happen. In all honesty he's done me a favour and got rid of an old motor."