University professor to appear in court charged with criminal damage

A Newcastle University professor alleged to have vandalised cars in a late-night wrecking spree failed to attend court because of lecturing commitments.

Stephen Graham, 47, a professor at Newcastle University is charged with four counts of criminal damage in relation to an incident in August.

24 cars in the Jesmond area of Newcastle were damaged with a screwdriver, used to carve insults into the cars including " very silly" and "arbitrary".

Mr Graham, of Lansdowne Road, Jesmond, was due to appear at Newcastle Magistrates court this morning but the court heard he was busy lecturing.

Graham is a lecturer in the Architecture, Planning and Landscape department of Newcastle University, and specialises in the study of cities and society.

"If in fact he wasn't a professor the reality is I would be saying 'Why isn't he here?' It is not a good enough excuse. Justice is something that must be seen to be done. He will appear before me at 2.15pm or I will be issuing a warrant for his arrest."

– District Judge Stephen Earl,