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A Newcastle university professor has been given a 9 month suspended prison sentence after scratching graffiti onto cars parked near his home.
Stephen Graham had admitted causing criminal damage after going out one night in August 2012.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that his actions were 'totally out of character' and he was in a dreamlike state through a combination of medication and alcohol.
The judge ordered Professor Graham to pay £28,000 as compensation for the damage caused.
Watch Helen Ford's report here:
Newcastle University have issued a statement following the sentencing of Professor Stephen Graham, a lecturer in city and society at the university.
A Newcastle University professor has been ordered to pay £28,000 compensation for scratching bizarre graffiti on cars parked near his home.
City and society expert Stephen Graham had taken a combination of alcohol and medication when he attacked 27 cars in the Jesmond area of Newcastle last August.
Judge Guy Whitburn at Newcastle Crown Court accepted his behaviour was totally out of character but said the compensation - which amounted effectively to the 48-year-old professor and his wife's total life savings - must be paid in full.
The judge suspended a nine month jail sentence for a year.
A Newcastle University professor will be sentenced for scratching polite graffiti on luxury cars and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Stephen Graham, who had been drinking, admitted attacking the cars - including a Mercedes and an Audi - when they were parked in Jesmond last year.
He used a screwdriver to scratch "very silly", "really wrong" and "arbitrary" onto cars, among other messages.
The 47-year-old, who works as an expert in cities and society, admitted four counts and asked for 23 similar offences to be taken into consideration when he appeared in court in January.
It was said he had no recollection of what happened on the night in August 2012 in Northumberland Gardens, a few streets from his home.
At a previous hearing he blamed a bad reaction to alcohol, antibiotics and prescription drugs for his behaviour.