Professor held after cars vandalised

A university professor has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after a number of cars were vandalised.

Professor Stephen Graham, who is employed by Newcastle University, was detained by police investigating the scratching of words on to 24 cars in Northumberland Gardens in Jesmond, Newcastle.

Some of the words included “very silly”, “really wrong” and “arbitrary” and had been done with a screwdriver.

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Graham, 47, who lives one street away, was questioned by police and later bailed while inquiries continue.

Some of the cars damaged on Monday night included a BMW 520, Mercedes SLK and a BMW X5.

Mary Barrett, who found the word “arbitrary” scratched on her silver Mercedes, said: “I felt sick when I saw it, I was close to tears.”

On the Newcastle University website, Graham is described as an academic and author who researches cities and urban life.

The university said: “We can confirm that Prof Stephen Graham is employed by Newcastle University, but is currently absent from work. Due to an ongoing police investigation we can say no more.”