British professor guilty of 'polite' graffiti spree

      LONDON (AP) A British professor who specializes in cities and urban life has been convicted of damaging luxury cars with graffiti that was surprisingly polite.

      Stephen Graham was found guilty Friday of using a screwdriver to scrawl inoffensive words such as "very silly," ''really wrong" and "arbitrary" into the paintwork of vehicles including a Mercedes, an Audi, and a Volvo.

      Prosecutors said the spree caused 18,000 pounds ($29,000) in damage.

      Graham, who teaches at Newcastle University in northeast England, pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Newcastle Crown Court.

      Graham's lawyer said the 47-year-old academic had no recollection of his August vandalism spree. Graham previously blamed a bad reaction to alcohol, antibiotics and prescription drugs for his behavior.

      Judge James Gos said he would sentence Graham next month.