WHO STRUCK IN 11 LONDON BOROUGHS SENTENCED TO NINE MONTHS – LONDON/HERTS/SUSSEX/KENT
A prolific graffiti vandal who caused over £40,000 worth of damage in 11 London boroughs, as well as in Hertfordshire, Sussex and Kent, has been found guilty of criminal damage and sentenced to nine months imprisonment following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.
*** ***, 27, of *** Road, Mitcham, was also given a five year anti-social behaviour order when he was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court today, Tuesday, 20 July.
The court heard that *** – who pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage at an earlier hearing– caused damage over a period of two years between January 2008 and March this year.
He targeted buildings, trains, stations and infrastructure in 11 London boroughs, as well as in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, Three Bridges in Sussex and Shepherds Well in Kent.
The total damage caused by *** was estimated as being in excess of £40,000.
*** was arrested on 14 January earlier this year after being linked to graffiti damage caused to a train in Three Bridges, Sussex a few days earlier.
After attending and taking photographs of the train and a known ‘tag’ inscribed on it, detectives from BTP’s Graffiti Unit checked the tag against a police graffiti database, linking it to ***, as well as other locations where the tag had been daubed.
Detectives executed a search warrant at ***’s address in Mitcham and recovered a number of items relating to graffiti, including pieces of paper with the tag sketched on, as well as paraphernalia such as spray paint cans, marker pens and photographs of *** associating with other known graffiti vandals.
After being questioned in custody, *** was released on police bail while investigators carried out further enquiries.
Using handwriting analysis, detectives then set about comparing the tag *** had daubed on the train at Three Bridges with police photographs of the same tag in various other locations, with the unique style and characteristics of each tag confirming him as the culprit.
The court also heard that *** continued to offend while on police bail, daubing a train with graffiti in Shepherd’s Well, Kent, in March 2010.
Detective Constable Colin Saysell, of BTP’s Graffiti Unit, said:
"Vandals like *** who commit graffiti offences often believe that their work is art – sadly when the chosen canvas is railway property it cannot be considered art and is nothing more than wanton damage that costs thousands of pounds to clean up.
"Writing graffiti on the railway or elsewhere is not a harmless pastime and we hope the sentence handed down to *** acts as a deterrent to other likeminded individuals. We will continue to work closely with train operating companies, Network Rail and other police forces to reduce these criminal acts.”