Lewisham mayoral candidate: 'Taking me to court for housing protest was waste of money'

John Hamilton and supporters outside court. Sign reads: "John Hamilton guilty of protest graffiti"

The graffiti in New Cross

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

A mayoral candidate claims public money was wasted by taking him to court for painting a political slogan on a fence.

John Hamilton, representing People Before Profit in this month's elections, painted the words "400 families homeless, this council land empty 8 years build council homes here now" on fencing at Lewisham Council-owned land in Besson Street, New Cross, earlier this year.

News Shopper: The graffiti in New Cross

It was the same site where he and others built a plywood house to highlight the lack of affordable homes in the borough.

Following a court appearance last month, in which he was also accused of damaging a car with a paintbrush, Mr Hamilton wrote to the Crown Prosecution Service asking them to drop charges of criminal damage.

They have now confirmed it is not in the public interest to pursue the case.

Mr Hamilton, who argued the protest was giving an important message about housing in Lewisham, said afterwards: "It was a waste of public money to go to the trouble of taking me to court."

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