Suspended jail term for South Tyneside graffiti vandal

CURFEW ... graffiti artist Daniel Gray.

CURFEW ... graffiti artist Daniel Gray.

A vandal has been spared jail despite defying court orders requiring him to do community service.

Daniel Gray told probation staff he would continue to fail to attend appointments as part of his community order so he didn’t have to do unpaid work.

That prompted magistrates to slap him with a six-week suspended jail sentence and a warning not to “go down that line”.

The 22-year-old was given a 12-month community order at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in January after admitting spray-painting a garage wall behind Hebburn’s Finchale Road shops with an offensive message about a police officer in October.

The order included a requirement that he do 80 hours of unpaid work.

He was traced by police after daubing the wall with his own graffiti tag, a type of nickname, of Gravy underneath the abusive message.

Gray, of Scarborough Parade, Hebburn, admitted failing to attend probation appointments on March 5 and March 12, both Wednesdays.

The offence is his second breach of the order as he was brought before the court last month for failing to turn up for two appointments in January.

Probation officers asked the magistrates to revoke the community order and re-sentence Gray.

A probation service spokesman said: “He said he was going to breach again as he would only get an electronic tag. He has no motivation to engage with the community order.

“He has made no progression on the order and has only completed one hour of the 80 hours of unpaid work, which was the induction. He is of the opinion that he will get a curfew if he continues to breach the order.

David Hatfield, defending, said: “It may be that a curfew will punish him more than if he had complied with the order.

“He is a young man with a lot of friends, who would like to go out drinking with his friends in the evening.

“With a curfew, you are effectively imposing a prison sentence at home for him. There is no point in adding to a community order as it simply isn’t going to work.”

Peter Connor, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, told Gray: “You have wilfully and persistently failed to engage with the probation service.

“The suspended sentence will be activated if you fail to comply.

“You are a young lad. Don’t go down that line. It will affect you.”

Gray was given a six-week prison sentence suspended for six months.

A six-week electronically-tagged curfew was also imposed on him from 7pm to 7am daily.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris


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