Graffiti writer Daze (Gary Shields) was jailed in March for 28 months at Ayr Sheriff Court. This was for eight offences. Gary pleaded guilty to a value of damage agreed with the Procurator Fiscal of £10,000. The figure of £270,000 worth of damage is what appeared in the news, and is believed to have been supplied to the media by the British Transport Police.
The papers are reporting this as the longest sentence for vandalism in Scotland. However, the same Sheriff gave a 33 month sentence to someone for spraying anti-Semitic graffiti on the war memorial in Troon, just last December.
Sheriff Colin B. Miller (61), who's hobbies include "railways", was previously in the news last year for giving someone a 3 year suspended sentence and putting him on the sex offenders register for masturbating with his bike. So in other words he's a trainspotter with an eye for controversy.
The story was initially reported in the Evening Times and Daily Record, along with a BTP press release
Since then there has been both a positive article in the Sunday Herald and a negative one in the Evening Times. Even the Howard League for Penal Reform in Scotland has weighed in on Gary's side.
So what can you do?
Gary's lawyers are putting an appeal in. There are obvious similarities with the Krek and Mers (TJ Dolan and Thomas Whittaker) case from last year. They were sentenced to 15 months and 12 months, but following an appeal were released after just two months. Hopefully Gary's appeal will be similarly successful.