Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Judge hits out at train graffiti artists

TRAIN graffiti artists were slammed by a judge for their "conceit and arrogance."
Judge Nigel Gilmour, QC, hit out while sentencing a young Polish man who had admitted spray painting designs on three Merseyside trains in Wirral.
"You may be a talented artist, I don't know, but what amazes me about people like you and other graffiti artists is the conceit and arrogance you possess thinking that the public at large want to see your art displayed on the side of trains."
"They become obsessed and take risks on getting caught," he added.
Judge Gilmour told Grzegorz Ratowski that although he now purports to show remorse he is a mature man who carried out the painting knowing it was illegal.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Ratowski, who had been working with others, had caused more than £4,000 worth of damage to three trains.
After hearing that the 27-year-old has no previous convictions and is in employment, Judge Gilmour sentenced him to six months imprisonment but suspended it for two years in the hope it will deter him "from inflicting your idea of art upon the public" for two years.
He also ordered him to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.
"It would be a very sweet irony if part of that work included removing graffiti," he said.
Ratowski, of Imogen Court, Salford, Manchester, had pleaded guilty to three offences of causing criminal damage. Judge Gilmour ordered him to pay £750 compensation.
Ian Criddle, prosecuting, told the court that Ratowski used the graffiti tag name of 'Lock' or 'Luck' and he was part of a group known as the INS crew. One member has yet to be prosecuted and another is on the run.

Ratowski was arrested on May 23 last year and was found to be in possession of spray paints.
His home was searched and sketches of him practising his tag were found along with sketches of the word INS and a DVD showed him posing by a train and pointing to his tag on a train.
Analysis of mobile phone records linked him with his tag being painted on a Merseyrail train at Birkenhead sidings on April 27, 2008, on April 19 last year on a train in New Brighton and again on May 16 last year in the Birkenhead sidings.
The trains are leased at a daily cost of £500 and the damage meant they were out of use for a day, he added.
Oliver King, defending, said, "He has aspirations to attend university to study art and design. He recognises if he has a talent for art there are proper ways to express it and on the side of trains is not one of them."

Taken from: Wirralglobe

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