'Rail Hoons' sentenced for damage

TWO members of "The Rail Hoons" caused $86,000 damage for graffiti ranging from 10cm tags to murals covering half a train.

David Houghton, 22, and Curtis Charles Olive, 23, pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Wednesday  to hundreds of graffiti drawings over five years.

They damaged buses, trains, bus shelters, buildings, poles and traffic signs.

They were part of a gang known for tags and murals on Queensland Rail property around jail.

Houghton told police the ultimate thrill and adrenalin rush was graffiti on trains.

He asked police for copies of his work when they showed him photographs of his graffiti.

Houghton admitted to drawing offensive genitalia.

Olive told police graffiti began as a hobby when he was a child but it eventually took over his life for five years.

He told police he had damaged 160 trains and left about 1000 tags in that time.

Olive said it was a thrill being involved in risky illegal activities.

He said he preferred to find areas hard to graffiti because it would stay there longer.

Olive was described as a talented artist who had attended an arts college and worked as a sign writer.

The court heard the army reserve member had a severe fear of heights and was insecure so he enjoyed being part of a gang.

Houghton, a plumber, was described as a thrill seeker who was relied on as a cricket coach for juniors at schools in Brisbane.

Judge Richard Jones said train commuters were bombarded with graffiti which was "an annoyance and offensive".

He said authorities spent a lot of money on repairs and he had to send a message to the community that graffiti would not be tolerated.

Houghton had a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years and must complete two years of probation.
Olive was ordered to complete two years probation and 240 hours of community service.

Houghton must pay back $5000 restitution.

Olive must this month pay $3000 he has already saved and another $15,000 over three years.

The money will go towards some of the damage they caused to Queensland Rail and Brisbane Council property.

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