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Teenager admits graffiti spree
3:09pm Tuesday 10th June 2008 in News
A HYDE teenager has admitted being behind a spate of graffiti attacks in Winchester last month (May).
Appearing at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court today (June 10), Eldon Griffiths-James pleaded guilty to six charges of causing criminal damage on Friday, May 2 and the early hours of Saturday, May 3.
The 19-year-old gardener, of Nuns Road, asked magistrates to take into account a further 36 matters of criminal damage.
The "NEMEW" graffiti, which was written in white emulsion paint, was found at locations across the city, including at River Park Leisure Centre; on a Nissan Micra car parked in Gladstone Street; and in St George's Street.
Prosecutor Claire Hartman told the court that an ambulance crew had alerted police after seeing a man roaming the streets with a pot of white paint.
She said officers descended on Griffiths-James' home on Saturday (May 3) morning, where they found his clothing covered in white paint and the words "NEMEW" on his computer. They also found receipts for the paint in his bedroom.
He admitted the offences to police and said that although he had been interested in graffiti years ago he had only decided to pick up a paintbrush again after getting drunk. He told officers the damage had taken him four or five hours to complete, and that he had done it alone.
Kate Bone, mitigating for Griffiths-James, said: "He said the next day when he was sober he felt very guilty. He accepts alcohol is an issue and he accepts that's why he's here today."
Mrs Bone added her client should be given credit for his early guilty plea. His sentencing was deferred until Friday, June 20, to allow him to undergo an alcohol treatment requirement assessment.