A GRAFFITI vandal who caused more than £54,000 worth of damage to trains has been jailed for 16 months.
A police investigation into Eugene Ironside uncovered dozens of images of graffiti-damaged trains, including one at Caterham station which was damaged in January 2007.
Ironside, 23, had been arrested by police in July last year after the security shutter of a chemist's in Selhurst, near Croydon, had been spray-painted.
He ran off but officers caught him in a nearby park – and found paint on his hands.
Through forensic tests detectives linked the paint residue to graffiti committed at Selhurst train depot earlier the same night, where three trains were damaged and scrawled with Ironside's tag of "hoover".
A digital memory card, discovered in one of his socks whilst in custody, contained more than 45 images of graffiti-daubed trains, as well as several similar videos.
And a search of his home uncovered graffiti paraphernalia including spray paint, plastic gloves, face masks and an orange hi-visibility vest.
Police eventually uncovered a four-year history of offences via the images found on his mobile phone and computer, coupled with handwriting analysis by experts.
Ironside, from Norbury, admitted 13 charges of damaging property when he appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday (October 12).
Det Con Colin Saysell from the British Transport Police said: "The financial costs of cleaning up graffiti has to be borne by the fare-paying passenger.
"Trains are taken out of service for cleaning, sometimes for days at a time, causing disruption and delays for passengers."
Source: This is surrey today
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