Leeds train graffiti vandal caused £12,000 of damage

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A vandal caused more than £12,000 worth of damage by spraying graffiti on trains across West Yorkshire, a court heard.

Thomas Faulkner told British Transport Police officers he committed the offences because he like “getting a buzz” from his spree of criminal damage.

Leeds Crown Court heard Faulkner, 31, targeted trains in night time raids at depots and stations in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield.


Faulkner caused extensive damage spraying his nickname, also known as a tag, ‘Kobe’ on rolling stock. He also taunted authorities by spraying ‘FUKBTP’ on trains.

Imran Kahn, prosecuting, said the removal of the graffiti was very expensive and labour-intensive for train firms affected by Faulkner’s offending.

The court heard Faulkner targeted a trains at Hudderfield station on October 18 last year and Holbeck train depot on June 15 and Bradford Forster Square on June 30 on this year.

Officers went to Faulnker’s home on Brudenell View, Hyde Park, Leeds, on on July 31 and he told them: “I knew you were coming.”

A total of 59 aerosol paint cans were found along with artwork which contained Faulkner’s ‘Kobe’ tag.

He was interviewed about the offending but said he was not able to explain why he had done it other than that he found it exciting and got a “buzz” from doing it,

Faulkner also said he did not think what he had done was wrong and likened the graffiti to art work.

He pleaded guilty the three offences of criminal damage and asked for a further nine offences to be taken into consideration.

The total value of his offending was £12,009.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Faulkner had a history of depression. He said the father-of-one worked part time of TX Maxx and had a “strong work ethic” which could be put to good use if he was made to do unpaid work for the community to make up for what he had done.

Faulkner was given a an eight month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “It would be a source of delicious irony if you are put to cleaning trains and coaches which have been painted.

“Whether or not that will be possible, you will have to wait and see.

“It is now up to you to show a responsible attitude for now otherwise you will go to prison.