NATIONAL

British graffiti duo sentenced to jail for vandalizing Seoul trains

By Kim Da-sol
  • Published : Nov 13, 2017 - 15:12
  • Updated : Nov 13, 2017 - 15:12
A local court on Monday handed down four-month jail terms to two British men in their 20s who had vandalized subway trains here. 

 

In an appeal trial, the Seoul Eastern District Court upheld the lower court’s conviction of the graffiti vandals for trespassing and property damage. 

The duo, who are members of a Manchester-based graffiti gang called SMT, sprayed the English letters “SMTS” and “SMT,” measuring 1.1 meters high and 12 meters long, on subway trains, on July 11 and 12.

The trains were taken off service for cleaning, which took a couple of days. 

In Monday’s ruling, the judge noted that the act not only caused financial damage to the train operator, but also disrupted its services, affecting many ordinary Koreans who rely on the subway for their daily commute and transport. 

The vandals had reportedly planned to leave the country on July 13, but were arrested at a guesthouse. 

SMT, a group of self-styled graffiti taggers in the UK, appeared in 2011. 

The group’s members caused at least 340,000 pounds (500 million won) of damage to trains and trams over 130 times between 2011 and 2015 from Manchester to London. All members of the group have been sentenced after admitting to conspiracy to cause criminal damage. Some of them have been jailed up to 14 months. 

The two vandals caught in Korea were involved in several offences of graffiti with the SMT tag in Manchester and London, with the total cost of damage amounting to 160,000 pounds. 

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)