British professor pays out over 'polite' graffiti
LONDON (AFP) - A British university professor was ordered on Friday to pay most of his life savings in compensation for scratching "polite" graffiti onto dozens of luxury cars.
Prof Stephen Graham, an urban studies expert at Newcastle University, must pay £28,000 (S$52,000) compensation after he scratched the words "very silly", "arbitrary" and other messages onto cars with a screwdriver.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the 48-year-old academic had gone into the streets of the city in northeast England last August wearing underpants and a suit jacket and had vandalised 27 cars, after mixing alcohol with medication.
Judge Guy Whitburn accepted that Prof Graham's behaviour was totally out of character but insisted he must pay the compensation - effectively his and his wife's life savings - in full.