Pensioners left angry as garage walls defaced with graffiti by mystery vandal - with scrawl similar to other recent incidents

PENSIONERS are angry after their garage walls were defaced in graffiti by a mystery vandal - with suggestions the culprit could be the same person behind other recent scrawls.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 11:30 am

Elderly people living in Ruth Court, a block of eight private flats in Albert Grove, Southsea, are fuming after three walls were left covered in black, white and green spray paint more than six months ago.

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Despite attempting to remove the ‘horrendous sight’ it proved to be ‘too great a task’ - with residents now facing up to having to fork out to remove the graffiti with a high pressure hose.

Residents Irene Strange, left, and Sally Istead with graffiti at the top end of Albert Grove, Southsea. They suggest a mural here could be the answer to the repeat problem of nuisance graffiti Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 150621-12)

It comes after the Strand mural in Southsea was vandalised last week by graffiti artists for the first time in 23 years after they damaged long-standing artwork by Mark Lewis.

Creatiques Bridal Boutique, Albert Road, was also targeted recently with graffiti left on the side of the shop and sprayed on a window.

Irene Strange, 88, who lives in Ruth Court, thinks the graffiti looks similar - and has called for action from authorities who have ignored requests for help so far.

‘I reported this problem to the police and said if they photographed the graffiti themselves they could narrow down the culprits,’ she said.

Graffiti at the top end of Albert Grove, Southsea. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 150621-09)

‘But it was all in vain. This was six months ago. I don’t understand why the police have done nothing.

‘Those doing the graffiti should be treated as criminals like fly-tippers as it is violating other people's property.

‘I also informed Portsmouth City Council and their Portsmouth Clean City group but they say it has to be dealt with by ourselves as it is private property.

‘We are a small block of flats mainly of elderly residents. I tried to get the graffiti off with my grandson several times but was unable to do it.’

Graffiti featuring the phrase 'John 3 v16' at the top end of Albert Grove, Southsea. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 150621-14)

The ‘eyesore’ - which also bizarrely includes an apparent biblical reference with a line stating ‘Read John Chapter 3, verse 16’ - faces privately owned houses opposite, resulting in complaints from some neighbours.

‘They have a horrid view every time they open their front doors. They have been very tolerant of the situation,’ Irene said.

‘The extent of this vandalism needs to be seen to be believed and to understand what we are having to tolerate.

‘It could cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds for us to remove, which as pensioners we cannot afford.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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