Sheffield graffiti artist ‘Fista’ back in court

Simon Sunderland
Simon Sunderland
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Graffiti artist Simon Sunderland – whose ‘Fista’ tag made him notorious in South Yorkshire during the 1990s – has admitted causing £90,000 of damage to the rail network with his new moniker ‘Bloodaxe’.

Sunderland, aged 41, of Queens Road, Lowfield, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to committing criminal damage on the rail network in and around the Sheffield, Rotherham, and Chesterfield areas by joint enterprise from January 2008 to October 2009.

Sunderland used the graffiti tag ‘Bloodaxe’, often accompanied by the graffiti crew name tag ‘TPG’, at railway locations throughout South Yorkshire.

He is to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.

Sunderland was jailed in 1996 for five years for committing criminal damage on the rail network in South Yorkshire using the tag ‘Fista’.

Judge Robert Moore, sentencing Sunderland, said the Fista tag was ‘one of the most prevalent and frequent spoilers of buildings in the area’.

The sentence was reduced to 21 months on appeal after hundreds of protesters joined a campaign to ‘Free Fista’.

Sunderland narrowly escaped jailed in August 2002 after admitting spraying painting two bridges near Barnsley causing an estimated £5,000 damage.

And in October the same year, aged 29, he was jailed for 11 weeks by Barnsley magistrates for spray-painting the tag ‘Ajax’ on a bridge in the town.

He once held a solo art exhibition at a gallery on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, displaying a series of limited edition screen prints.