Brighton graffiti vandals jailed for massive tagging spree

Posted On 11 Mar 2010 at 6:13 pm

Two graffiti taggers were jailed today for risking their lives to spray graffiti on the railways for four years, causing £30k of damage.

Matthew Fowler

Matthew Fowler, 32, from Brighton and Richard Markwick, 19, from Lancing pleaded guilty to 21 counts of criminal damage at Lewes Crown Court today.

In total, they admitted to 241 offences committed in Brighton, Lancing and on the trains and railways between November 2005 and May 2009.

German Doner Kebab

So determined were they to continue their vandalism spree, they continued to spray graffiti after being arrested and while on police bail, and so were remanded in custody from September until today’s hearing.

Fowler was jailed for 18 months and Markwick sent to a young offenders’ institution for 15 months. Both were given three-year antisocial behaviour orders banning them from carrying paint, marker pens, or glass etching or staining equipment.

Richard Markwick

PC Billy Burstow, British Transport Police, said: “The risks that Fowler and Markwick took were staggering and by writing graffiti lineside they placed themselves at serious risk.

“Their graffiti was discovered in places offering no refuge from approaching trains. They also accessed areas where there are trip hazards or where they risked getting their feet trapped in railway points.

“The railway is an extremely dangerous environment and the risks, even to trained staff, are always present and very real. Writing graffiti on the railway or elsewhere is not a harmless pastime. It is a criminal act and I hope that this case sends out a strong message that the police and the courts do not look kindly upon those who vandalise private property in this way.”

One of the trademark tags left by the pair, which read POSH.

PC Rachel Piggott of Sussex Police’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “This should serve as a warning to other would-be offenders that this type of anti-social behaviour is not tolerated in Sussex.”

Environment cabinet member Councillor Geoffrey Theobald added: “We will continue to pursue the small minority who spoil our beautiful city for the rest of us; graffiti tags are not welcome in Brighton and Hove.”

  1. s Reply

    why send these guys to prison? ok graffiti is a crime but at the same time is beautiful, and breaks up all of the boringness that is modern urban living. surely when people commiting very serious crimes are getting very weak sentences why waste tax payers money and prison space on people who are decorating spaces. especially railway lines which are all dull and and disgusting!!!!!

  2. ceaseuk Reply

    I agree, why waste time & effort on stuff like this! These guys are not the criminals, it is the system at large and the big brother state that is really the vandal here, our leaders are doing more damage to this world daily than these two could ever hope to do in a lifetime! I feel sorry for them, their actions were wrong, however Brighton & Hove Council have put a stop to every legal Graffiti area in the city in favor of pop-up flats for drunken London Buisness people (Black Rock) right or wrong, you cannot deny people their culture, the sooner they realise this the better! p.s. The commisioned graffiti in the north lanes is amazing, and brings lots of tourism maybe insted of locking these people up the council could offer them jobs thereby making the city a really unique place to live insted of just a mini London by the sea. ( Just an idea ^__+ )

  3. Max Sloman Reply

    Teacher John Cope at Brighton and Hove High School, in Feb 2010 got a 12 month jail sentence SUSPENDED for 2years, for grooming a teenage girl ….
    who is the criminal here?? ARTISTS??? the law is indeed an ASS

  4. harry bishton Reply

    I live in Little Western Street in Brighton and there are heart tags everywhere any comments?

  5. harry bishton Reply

    i have seen ” POSH” down the brighton?hove border line pathway

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