Margate graffiti tagger prosecuted

Thanet District Council has successfully prosecuted a local man for extensive criminal damage in Margate.

This follows a successful public campaign through local press and social media to #NameThatTag, appealing to the public to help identify the person responsible for the extensive graffiti in Mill Lane car park, Margate and other areas in the district.

Local man, Vince Pugh admitted causing all 23 pieces of damage and being responsible for the ‘Grumpy’ graffiti tag. A Community Protection Warning was issued and Mr Pugh also received a conditional discharge for 12 months. This registers the offence and means that if any further offences are committed by Mr Pugh, upon further sentence, will receive an additional penalty for these offences as well. The Council also put in a claim to recover the public money spent on this damage with the court awarding £2070 to be paid to Thanet District Council by Mr Pugh.

Mr Pugh, who has previously worked with the Council on diversionary street art projects in an attempt to steer people away from committing criminal damage, admitted to the charges and told Thanet Magistrates he did it, ‘because he was angry at the Council as they had painted over other pieces that he considered artwork’.

The Council had previously appealed to the public asking them to be vigilant as well as requesting that the person responsible stop committing the damage, which was most prominent in Margate’s Mill Lane car park. Anonymous tip offs and CCTV caught Mr Pugh which led to the prosecution and charges brought against him.

Councillor Lin Fairbrass, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Environmental Services said:

‘’On behalf of the Council I would like to say how disappointed we were that Mr Pugh sought a personal vendetta, damaging public spaces which had an impact on other people’s quality of life. This not only took up valuable resources to clean up the illegal graffiti but also affected other works and funds that could have been used for other community schemes.”

“The Council has worked proactively with local artists, including #StreetArtMargate to support art in agreed locations and where the landowner had given consent. The Council has to make sure it balances the interests of the wider community and those pieces which are offensive, obscene or in unauthorised locations will be removed immediately.”

The Council is responsible for graffiti removal on public property however works with owners when on private property. For more information or to report graffiti visit: /your-services/community-safety/how-do-i-report-graffiti/how-do-i-report-graffiti/

Press Office

E-Mail: press.office@thanet.gov.uk