Graffiti vandal who caused £54k worth of damage is jailed
A graffiti vandal who caused over £54,000 worth of damage to trains and stations has been jailed for 16 months.
Eugene Ironside of Norbury Hill, Norbury, was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court, after pleading guilty to 13 charges of damaging property.
The 23-year-olds graffiti spree was investigated after he was arrested in Selhurst, just after 4am on July 14, 2011.
Ironside, who had just spray painted and damaged a Lloyd George Pharmacy security shutter on Whitehorse Road with another man, made off from officers, with the men dropping a bag containing four tins of spray paint.
He was arrested after officers found him in a nearby park, with paint on his hands.
A digital camera with no memory card was also found in his possession, but the missing card was discovered in one of his socks in custody and contained over 45 images of graffiti-damaged trains, as well as videos.
Forensic officers linked the paint residue on his hands to graffiti committed at Selhurst train depot earlier that night, where three trains were damaged and scrawled with Ironside's 'tag' hoover.
A search of his home address uncovered various graffiti paraphernalia, including spray paint, plastic gloves, face masks, stretched tags and an orange hi-viz vest.
Examination of his computer also revealed further graffiti-related images.
His extensive history of writing the tag and the images discovered on his phone and computer, along with handwriting analysis by expert graffiti squad detectives linked him to 13 offences between 2007 and 2011 in Battersea, Caterham, Croydon, Charing Cross, Lewisham, Southwark, and Streatham Hill.
He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment for each count with the sentences set to run concurrently.
Detective Constable Colin Saysell said: "The financial costs of cleaning up graffiti have to be borne by someone and that someone is ultimately the fare-paying passenger.
"Trains are taken out of service for cleaning, sometimes for days at a time, causing disruption and delays for passengers.
"Graffiti also involves serious risks to those who go onto the tracks, who often don't know when a train will come or if the tracks are live."