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 Vandal spray painted police station before assaulting officer

 17/05/2019

​A MASKED man sprayed offensive graffiti on buildings in Darlington and tried to gouge out the eyes of a police officer who tried to restrain him. 


Declan Drummond sprayed the paint on buildings across the town, including the police station and the shutter doors of Wickes, as well as two Arriva buses in November last year.


On November 7, an off-duty officer, Detective Constable Liam Robertson, saw the 19-year-old outside the police station preparing to spray a wall beside the building and tried to apprehend him.


Drummond escaped and cycled off before hiding in a nearby block of flats.

 

When DC Robertson caught up with the defendant, Drummond punched him in the head a number of times before attempting to gouge the officer’s eyes out with his thumbs.


Officers found a white mask nearby and a kitchen knife with Drummond’s fingerprints on it.


Drummond, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal damage, one of being in possession of a knife and one charge of assaulting a police officer when he appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court yesterday.


The court heard the graffiti related to a stabbing allegation which was later dropped.


Drummond was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to DC Robertson, £29 to Wickes and £100 to Darlington Police Station.


Speaking after the case DC Robertson, of Darlington CID, said: “Criminal damage of this sort is a blight on appearance of Darlington that affects the whole population of the town.


“The actions of this individual have disrupted bus services and caused businesses and services to expend their earnings on tidying up and repairing the damage done.


“However, most importantly is the fact that the content of this graffiti is a clear attempt to bully and intimidate people into not providing information to the police. 


“People of this town should be able to feel confident to assist the police with bringing offenders to justice and know that our officers will work hard, doing their utmost to bring a prosecution where the evidence allows.”