Thursday, October 14, 2010

Graffiti vandal who caused £45,000 damage is jailed

A graffiti vandal who was caught after filming himself spray painting trains in Essex has been jailed for a year, British Transport Police (BTP) said.

Robert Martin, 23, was caught with mobile phone footage from the railway line and pictures which showed him posing with giant cannabis plants he had grown in his back garden.

Southend Crown Court heard he caused more than £45,000 worth of damage to trains in Essex. Using the tag "Wear" he damaged 11 trains, all of which had to be taken out of service and professionally cleaned.

Martin, of Branksome Avenue, Hockley, was arrested on October 8 last year after a train driver spotted him near to a train he had just graffitied. He ran off but was stopped by two BTP officers outside Southend Victoria station and arrested.

BTP's Detective Constable Dave Rabbitt said: "This young man is a prolific graffiti vandal who caused substantial damage to a number of trains in the name of what he presumes is art.

"The fact is that Martin's spray can endeavours were nothing more than wanton acts of vandalism that inconvenienced rail passengers and cost a great deal of money to clean up.
"The fact that Martin was so keen on keeping a visual record of his exploits meant that in the end he was the architect of his own downfall.

"The footage was powerful circumstantial evidence that proved vital in securing his guilty plea."

Martin, who continued to commit offences while on police bail, pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal damage between October last year and May this year and one count of cannabis cultivation.

Taken from: Hebden Bridge Times

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