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Schizophrenic man admits to graffiti
A MAN who suffers from schizophrenia has admitted 10 counts of criminal damage to property after daubing walls and bus stops with white gloss paint in August .
Paul Taylor, 48, of Elborough Road, has been suffering from the condition for years, and has been institutionalised as a result of it .
But in the month before he committed the offences, he was dismissed from the mental health register, and embarked on a mission to combat what he considered to be a scourge of black graffiti, a court heard yesterday.
The white lettering Taylor painted on property appeared between August 9 and 10 in the Haydon Wick area, and baffled residents and police at the time as mindless vandalism.
The letters were found mainly around Paddock Close, but bus stops at Vicarage Road and The Brow were also targeted.
Taylor claimed he was trying to do some good, after seeing a spate of black racist graffiti spring up in the weeks before the offences.
“I just wanted to fight the vandals,” he said. “They are calling me the white graffiti artist now.”
Sentencing has been deferred until January 6 while Taylor has his condition assessed by a mental health team.
Mike Pulsford, defending, said: “Mr Taylor’s mental health is deteriorating, and for this reason we are probably not able to recommend a sentence today.
“He is to engage with mental health services and probation services, and is on a deferred sentence. “He pleaded guilty to two charges of graffiti previously and has now pleaded guilty to eight additional charges. The offences were committed in August and September of this year.
“Mr Taylor got fed up with all the black painted graffiti around the area and wanted to replace it with white graffiti.
“He also painted some stones in a children’s playground, which were the size of boulders, and painted them white because he felt they blended in with the environment. He left his paint brush on the stones after committing this act.”
When Taylor was arrested he was found with a knife but it was not linked to any crime.
“He was found in possession of a lock knife on the 6 September, which he claimed was only used for fishing,” said Mr Pulsford.
“Mr Taylor suffers from schizophrenia, which has been a long standing condition. “He has been a resident patient in the past, but at the time of committing the offences he was not on the Medical Health Association’s books.
“He had been dismissed from their books in July of this year.”
The chairman of the bench, Ruth Fitzsimmons, summing up, said: “You can’t be doing this any more. You have got to stop this graffiti.”