Graffiti vandal jailed for disorder

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A graffiti vandal who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to trains in Yorkshire has been jailed for violent disorder during an anti-cuts protest in London.

Joseph Binney, 22, of The Roundway, Hull, was sentenced to two years in prison at Kingston Crown Court in south west London.

Judge Paul Dodgson said Binney was a member of a “violent mob” which took part in a series of attacks on property in central London after the TUC protest on March 26.

The attacks led to the damage of police vehicles, two banks and a car showroom.

Binney, who was planning to study graphic design at Leeds Metropolitan University, also received a jail term for criminal damage on eight occasions on the railways between December 2009 and October 2010. He had pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing.

The prosecution said the majority of graffiti damage was on trains in Yorkshire. British Transport Police put the total cost of the damage at £20,000.

Judge Dodgson handed Binney a three-month prison sentence for the graffiti damage, to be served concurrently with the sentence for violent disorder.

He described graffiti as the “the selfish activities of those that think this is art”

In reality, graffiti “disfigured the landscape”, the judge said.

Binney had travelled from Hull to London on a coach to take part in the protest. He was unemployed at the time and not a union member.

His palm print was discovered on the inner door of a Santander bank branch in Piccadilly after it came under attack from a mob.

Binney insisted he did not take part in the disorder. Asked about how his palm print had come to be on the inner door of the bank, he said he had gone to take a look at he damage after the mob had dispersed out of a “mixture of stupidity and nosiness”.

But a jury convicted him of the offence after a trial at the court last month.

Sentencing him today, Judge Dodgson said: “I am quite satisfied that you were bent on violence, certainly against property, and you were part of a violent mob that was causing fear on the streets of London.”

He added: “But I recognise that you are 22. Good things are said about you.

“I very much hope that you can rebuild a future for yourself.”

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