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.
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Enquiries are ongoing and police are appealing for information after the incident.