Two art students who went on a two-year graffiti spree in Liverpool have been spared prison.
Town and Backhouse admitted 26 charges of damaging property
Ian Town, 24, and 23-year-old Charlotte Backhouse, both from South Drive, West Derby, admitted 26 charges of damaging property at Liverpool Crown Court.
The couple are believed to have caused damage estimated at about £65,000.
Both were given nine month sentences which were suspended for two years after their university lecturer gave them glowing testimonies.
John Young, a senior lecturer in graphic art at Liverpool John Moores University, said he believed the pair had ceased criminal behaviour by the time of their arrest in 2006.
He said: "They are very good students. They are very reliable, very trustworthy and very hard-working.
"They've got so much potential, in terms of future graphic design.
"I found it very disappointing when I found out the scale of the charges, but they were certainly straying away from that.
The judge suspended their jail terms for two years
"So many people were interested in their legitimate creative work, they could have been real shining lights of the local design community."
Suspending their sentences for two years, the judge said: "Your behaviour demonstrates a complete lack of respect for everything that hard-working individuals are trying to achieve.
"Your conduct was very arrogant and selfish, no doubt prompted by the buzz of not getting caught and leaving your mark."
However, he added that he was impressed by their remorse and their plans to set up a graphic art business.