South Tyneside graffiti sprayer who vandalised five Metro stations is ‘no Banksy’ court told
A South Tyneside graffiti sprayer who vandalised five Metro stations with his moniker is no Banksy, his solicitor admitted in court.
Defender Kevin Smallcombe said it was not possible to compare the work of the famous street artist with Gary Slator’s unsightly efforts.
Slator, 22, of Cheviot Way, Jarrow, has been ordered to pay Metro operator Nexus £960 compensation for his five-week vandalism spree.
The cannabis and cocaine user attacked five transport hubs between January 25 and March 8, leaving his calling sign GS9 behind.
His signature mark was emblazoned at Chichester, Tyne Dock and Jarrow, all South Tyneside, Gateshead Stadium, and South Gosforth, Newcastle.
At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Mr Scallcombe said: “It’s street art but we’re not talking Banksy here.
“It can cause disruption and displeasure to those who travel. What many people would consider graffiti is graffiti, full stop.
“In many other respects he leads a decent life and until the last few months has always worked.”
Slator caused £200 of damage when he sprayed station walls at Jarrow and Tyne Dock on Monday, January 25.
Five days later, he caused £100 of vandalism at Gateshead Stadium, and £350 at Tyne Dock on Friday, February 5.
On Sunday, February 28, Nexus had to spend £320 cleaning up Chichester Metro station.
His final flurry was at South Gosforth, where his actions cost the rail firm £150 to erase.
Slator pleaded guilty to five counts of causing criminal damage.
Prosecutor Clare Irving told the hearing: “The damage was all to Nexus’ property. The offences were captured on CCTV.
“During the months of January, February and March, GS9 and other tags appeared. Metro staff became aware of this.
“Metro says such activities cost it financially and damages the perception that commuters have of the rail system.”
A Probation Service report read to the court stated Slator spends £100 a month on cocaine and cannabis.
Magistrates also made him subject to a 12-month community order, with requirements of 20 days of rehabilitation work and 80 hours of unpaid work.
And he must pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.