A man spray-painted the name of a dead pal on a house wall as a “tribute” to him, Chesterfield magistrates heard.
Stephanie Wood told police she heard shouting as she sat in her Creswell home at 5.50pm on August 12.
She looked outside and saw four males and a female leaning against a car drinking cans of lager.
Ryan Pendleton – the partner of a neighbour – was among them and he walked down a gennel next to Ms Wood’s home.
Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said: “She went out and saw him with a spray can writing on an outside wall.
“She told him to stop and he asked if he could finish it off.
“Neighbours saw this and telephoned police and the group walked off.”
Pendleton had painted the name ‘WES’ in 2ft-high letters, stretching 4ft along the wall.
“This was the name of someone they knew who had recently passed away in the locality,” said Mrs Griffiths.
Police found the spray cans in the garden of an address where Pendleton was but he denied vandalising the wall.
He admitted doing it during a second interview with police.
“He said other people wanted to make a tribute to Wes by spraying his name on the wall.
He said other members of the group had goaded him into doing it,” added Mrs Griffiths.
Pendleton, 31, formerly of Churchfields, Creswell, and now of Watson Road, Worksop, admitted damaging property.
He was cautioned by police for a similar offence six years ago.
The bench said it was a “stupid offence” and fined him £89, with £75 compensation and £85 costs.
Pendleton told the court: “I apologise for what happened. A friend passed away and I was just doing that that’s how I am. I can’t say any more. It was a daft thing.”