Arts and Literature
Krek's graffiti art in Manchester
Street art or street crime?
Is urban graffiti art or vandalism? Two young men jailed for spray painting trains and railway bridges in Manchester have walked free after having their sentences quashed on appeal. But what is the right punishment for the crime?
Is urban graffiti street art? Or vandalism? And should graffiti artists face the same punishment as vandals?
Jailed: Krek at work
20-year-old Thomas Dolan and Thomas Whittaker, 18, both from Macclesfield, were given 15 and 12 month prison sentences respectively after admitting painting graffiti on trains and railways stations at Manchester Crown Court.
But now their sentences were overturned at the Court of Appeal. (29 Oct 2007) Both men - who had served two months of the original sentence - have now been given a two-year conditional discharge.
The decision follows protests against the sentences by their parents and a campaign on networking website Facebook.
Five-year Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) were also quashed at the Appeal Court in London. They said the ASBOs were 'inappropriate' because the graffiti was neither threatening nor offensive.
Thomas Dolan and Thomas Whittaker caused damage put at £23,000 by painting their graffiti art on trains, stations and railway property in Gatley, Bury, Buxton, Wigan, Macclesfield, Stockport and Longsight.
They were traced after British Transport Police (BTP) tracked website postings of their work. Dolan used the graffiti tag of Krek and Whittaker went by the name of Mers.
Artists or vandals?
What is the right punishment for graffiti art? Nothing? A community sentence? Or should graffiti artists pay the same price as vandals?
last updated: 30/10/07
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