I lived in Devon (torbay - torquay, paignton, brixham) for about 11 years, I grew up there,and it was a great place to live. In the summer its especially great, loads of people around, good atmosphere etc.. but in winter - its dead and boring. So naturally you try and find alternative forms of entertainment.
Back sometime over xmas, December / January, I would sometimes go out with my friend Kane and a few other people to do random stuff, graffiti etc..
Me and Kane had an idea for a subway near a school, we would paint over all the shit graffiti and rubbish tags that were already there and paint black arrows on the wall, white arrows on the floor all leading to one space in the subway, one point.
We went out on a saturday night and painted the subway white, then on sunday after it dried we started adding the arrows. We had to start early because it would take quite a while to do, so there was a few people around but not enough to cause concern. We finished it and left. On the way back driving home I got pulled over by the police as someone had reported us and my car. So they searched my car found my camera with pics on, knew where I had been etc, somehow managed to blag it and got let off with a caution and an £80 fine. We had a plan to get one of our other friends to lie down in the spot, so all the arrows pointed to him, and not move. We would then wait till monday and film the publics reactions...
Anyway, Kane still went out doing some videos, another guy called Harper did some vandalism (and some shit graffiti), kane let off some fireworks in a bin and phonebox - all minor crimes in anyones book. Kane had me on video tagging up some stuff in torquay, we didnt think much of it. He did however, put some of the videos on the net.
Back to the subway project we called 'whats the point' - it went really well, I already uploaded a deviation and small explanation just after it took place, which you can see here - [link]
..... i thought that was the end of it. I took a full time job in London and moved up there to continue my career and work on funkrush.
A short while later, Kanes house got raided by the police, they took his pc, trainers and a bunch of other shit. It was all over the papers the next day, someone had shown some of the videos around the bay to the papers and police. The next day the subway piece (one of my photos) did get on the front page of the papers and they linked it to all the vandalism and stuff that kane, harper and others had done in the videos. It was on the local news, and national papers picked up on it too..I had minor involvment in some of the videos (a couple of tags and I also filmed kane once shouting at random people from his car. I knew the police would want to speak to me at some point.
Sure enough they traced me on the internet and I was at a business event in Reading with Chris at the time checking my e-mails. They said I could be arrested at any time in the UK if I didn't hand myself in. In an amazing twist they brought up the subway stuff me and kane had done, and tried to trick me saying that the council were interested in us doing some graffiti and projects for the council. I thought i would clear my name since I had minor involvment in this, i went into the station back down in Devon and got arrested. I got charged with 2 things, doing one tiny bit of graffiti (stencil) and one public order offense (when i just filmed kane shouting at some people in his car), they said I would probably get let off, or get another fine. I was quite pissed off really, it had already been blown well out of proportion - The papers, TV etc.
I got a letter a few weeks later informing me that i had to attend court. I had to go legally and so I did, my solicitor said how I didn't have much involvement, and how I'm a graduate and working in London now so hopefully I would be dealt with a caution or let off. The court got adjurned, and I had to appear later again on the 27th.
I turned up, got out of the car with Kane and my brother, and outside there were film crews, paparazzi, it was mental. What had I got myself into! People taking photos, public asking if i was famous..it was complete bullshit really but funny at the time. I went into court, and got charged...
I have to do 60 hours community service, and a £600 / $1200 fine! I was pretty shocked; in my opinion, the judge had been harsh. If i had done that on my own then i would have got away with it, but due to their being high press coverage they wanted to make an example. Fair enough Kane filmed the videos and harper did the vandalism, they got 160 and 200 hours community service respectively, but for what i had done, and just being linked with them I feel the verdict was unfair.
Naturally, it was on the news that night, and in the papers the next day. I went out in Torquay that night and had at least 20 people come up to me saying they saw me in the papers. I went to the toilet and a girl jumped on me saying 'OMG pete harrison, you were in the papers'..once in the toilet a guy said 'hey man, saw you and kane in the papers, what was that about' and on the way out I heard another girl say 'That was the guy that did the graffiti and in the papers'... it was all pretty funny, like celebrity status or something. But still all this just for doing some stupid tag and filming Kane, I didn't really know why it came to that, just for being linked to it via the subway stuff and being Kanes friend. I dont think the judge was right to give me such a high fine, and 60 hours community service. I'm busy as it is - running a full time job, freelance designing and running funkrush. The fine didnt help much either. I didnt want this, for something so small I did to be totally blown out of proportion!! Dont have a go at me for doing some vandalism or something, like I said I didnt do anything apart from some street art, i know they call us a 'gang' but thats just rubbish, its just me! cmon you guys know me...im not like that!
So I just wanted to present this print from the subway stuff we did, maybe you might consider buying it, so I can put the money towards the fine..also I've had a few people wanting to donate to me, so you can do that if you want, paypal address is : firstname.lastname@example.org - I'll pick a few people who have donated randomly and send them some funkrush gear, its the least I can do, and if you buy a tshirt from Funkrush
that will indeed help too, please consider it..
I know you guys always supported me here, and Ive made a lot of friends on this site, I'm too busy recently to really do much personal artwork, but I do love to do it when I get the time, I just hope some of you can help me out this time, please support me..
I guess you could consider this a 2 part submission, aswell as the collage here is the video of the project..
The original Video of the project - including public footage from monday!
On the westcountry news
My photo on front page of the paper
Another shot of paper
Thanks for reading..