Daze- a Scottish graffiti artist sentenced to 28 months in prison has been freed! Note: newspapers are now reporting the damage to be estimated at around £12,000 instead of the £270,000 initially reported, a figure which is believed to have come from the British Transport Police. Funny that these damage figures are so arbitrary and yet they are admitted as evidence in court!
From the BBC:
Graffiti man’s jail term quashed
A graffiti artist who was given Scotland’s longest ever jail term for vandalism has had his sentence quashed.
Gary Shields, 21, from Glasgow, admitted spray-painting train carriages and stations across Scotland, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
He had been sentenced to 28 months in prison at Ayr Sheriff Court.
Appeal judges said they would impose a new sentence in six weeks. That is likely to involve community service and some form of compensation.
After appearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, Shields said he was “quite happy” with the outcome.
He added: “I thought the sentence was a bit harsh.”
Shields was jailed earlier this year after admitting seven offences carried out in Elderslie, Prestwick, Helensburgh, Shawlands, Yoker and Langside, in Glasgow, when he appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Colin Miller decided he had to jail him and said: “The damage done was considerable, not to say the offence caused to the public by vandalism of this nature.”
The sheriff said the prison sentence was intended to send out a message to others.
Some of Shields’ graffiti
Shields caused damage to trains and stations across Scotland
Shields served almost two months of the prison term before being freed on interim liberation pending an appeal in the case.
His counsel Moira MacKenzie told the court she was not seeking to minimise Shields’ conduct but argued that the sheriff had “overstated the gravity of the offences”.
She pointed out that they were committed when Shields was still a teenager and said he had “removed himself from his previous associates and has turned his back on that activity”.
She added that Shields was hoping to start a university course and was prepared to meet the bill for the damage.
Lord Wheatley told Shields: “We want to emphasise this was a serious series of offences.”
But he said they had decided the jail sentence would be quashed and they had in mind an alternative disposal of community service and “some measure of compensation” to the companies who suffered financial loss.
The appeal judges said they would seek further information about which firms should receive compensation before finally disposing of the case in about six weeks
Visit this link to watch the video from the BBC
Read an article from “The Scotsman” that reveals anger over the sentence reduction here