Pair guilty of ‘NKS’ graffiti attack

Two Exmouth men have pleaded guilty to their part in a graffiti rampage which left a trail of destruction through the town centre.

Matthew Carter, 23, of Dukes Crescent, and Jamie Luxton, 19, of Courtlands Lane, pleaded guilty to 11 joint counts of criminal damage at Exeter Crown Court.

The pair admitted to being involved in what became known as the NKS gang, which sprayed and carved their slogan, or ‘tag’, onto windows and street furniture.

They were charged with being involved in a series of attacks that took place in Exmouth on the night of August 4 and August 5, 2009.

The court heard that Carter, Luxton and a 17-year-old accomplice went through the town centre and carved their tag onto shop windows, at least two parked cars and an electrical substation.

Among the businesses affected were Specsavers, Sue Ryder Shop, Krispies Fish and Chip Shop, Spar, The Crusty Cob and the Co-op.

The gang’s rampage was caught on CCTV and, although their faces were hidden by hoods and baseball caps, Luxton was said to have told police that he was one of them.

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When police went to arrest Luxton, they found materials with the NKS tag on them, and Carter was found to have other graffiti marks at his address.

The court was told that the estimated cost of the damage caused in the attacks Carter and Luxton were charged with was around �26,000, with the total figure for the entire night’s damage being more than �46,000.

Carter and Luxton’s 17-year-old accomplice had already been sentenced for his part in the attacks at Exeter Magistrates’ Court, where he was given a community order.

Judge Philip Wassall told Carter and Luxton that they were lucky their accomplice had got off so lightly - or they would all be facing much harsher penalties.

He said: “Both defendants are extremely fortunate I didn’t have [their accomplice] before me, because he might have been expecting something like two years’ imprisonment.

“However, he was dealt with by way of a community order, and that has to be the starting point, as there has to be some parity with the sentences.

“Were I approaching the case unfettered by that, I would have been thinking about a substantial custodial sentence for all of you.”

For his part in the attacks, Carter was given 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and handed a curfew between 7pm and 6am for three months.

Luxton’s sentencing was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, so he will be sentenced at a later date.

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