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Teenagers charged over graffiti prison campaign

by Jonathan Paisley

TWO teenagers have been charged after a slogan of support for a jailed graffiti artist was spray-painted across a train.

Three carriages at Yoker depot in Glasgow's West End were daubed with Free Daze!' The arrests come after the Evening Times told last week of a campaign to free artist Gary Shields - whose tag' name is Daze - from prison.

The 21-year-old, of the city's Crookston, was jailed for 28 months after his paint spray spree on trains and at railway stations.

Illegal fly-posters have appeared in Glasgow city centre backing the Free Daze! campaign and the council warned they would have zero tolerance of fly-posting.

Now British Transport Police have confirmed two men, aged 18 and 19, have been charged after the slogan was seen on the Yoker carriages.

The teenagers were arrested following the incident at 2.30am on Saturday.

A spokesman for BTP said: "Two officers on routine patrols arrested the suspects and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.

"Not only is vandalism expensive to clean up, but the carriages may have been put out of commission.

"Graffiti is vandalism and those indulging in this sort of criminality are putting themselves in danger as well as endangering rail staff and passengers."

A spokesman for First Scotrail confirmed the incident but declined to comment on the extent of the damage.

Almost 53% of Evening Times readers in an on-line poll last week said graffiti artists should not face jail for their activities.

But Councillor Jim Coleman, deputy leader of the council, said there would be zero tolerance of those responsible for the fly-posting.

He said: "Graffiti destroys the environment we're trying to create a clean Glasgow.

"These people have no respect for the city."

Shields was sentenced at Ayr Sheriff Court in March.

Petitions backing him have sprung up on social networking website MySpace and others.

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