This is the graffiti artist who’s upset the Queen by scrawling HELCH in 60ft high white letters near Windsor Castle, his friends claim.
Michael Purdy is the spray painter behind the Helch tag daubed across bridges and Tube station, the Home Counties and most recently Bristol, they say.
The 27-year-old who still lives at his mother and father’s house in Hayes, Middlesex, was last year given a two-year jail sentence suspended for drugs offences.
Her Majesty is said to be ‘extremely upset’ after the giant tag appeared in huge letters on a royal railway viaduct, ruining an iconic view of Windsor Castle.
Michael Purdy (pictured), 27, from Hayes in west London, is the notorious graffiti artist who spray painted the word ‘HELCH’ near to Windsor Castle, according to his friends
Those close to Purdy (pictured) say he is the underground street painter behind the HELCH tags that have appeared on bridges and Tube stations around London
The Queen is said to be ‘extremely upset’ after the 60ft high white letters were daubed onto a railway viaduct near Windsor Castle, spoiling the view of her Majesty’s favourite residence
The 10ft-by-60ft graffiti was painted overnight and ruins the view for visitors to the Monarch’s favourite home.
The matter was first brought to her attention by guests who spotted it from Royal Windsor Way – a dual carriageway that brings them into the historic town.
A royal source said: ‘The Queen was extremely upset to hear that this view of Windsor Castle has been turned into such an eyesore.
‘Her aides have been asked to see what can be done to have this gratuitous vandalism cleaned up and the views across to Windsor Castle restored to their former beauty.’
Purdy yesterday refused to come to the door when asked by MailOnline – and instead sent his mother Lynn, who denied that her son is the notorious graffiti artist.
‘Michael says it’s not him. He says he is not HELCH,’ Mrs Purdy 57, told MailOnline.
Helch tags have appeared on bridges and at Tube stations in London and Home Counties. Boris is Helch appeared in Bristol and the ‘Give Peas a Chance’ mural on the M25 was painted over
A visitor to Windsor Castle is said to have spotted the tag (pictured) painted onto the railway viaduct from Royal Windsor Way, and alerted the royal household that the view is spoiled
Purdy, who lives at home with his parents, was given a two-year jail sentence suspended last year for possession of £1,000 worth of drugs including cocaine, ecstasy and Ketamine
Standing on the doorstep of her modest terrace home in Hayes, Middlesex, she added: ‘Years ago he might have done something like that when he was a teenager.
‘But he is not HELCH as far as I am aware.
‘I’ve seen that graffiti around. I don’t want him to be involved if he was.
‘I’m his mother and I don’t know anything about it. I don’t like graffiti.
‘But he says he’s not a graffiti artist and he has nothing to do with it.’
Despite his family’s denial, friends and former associates of Purdy today claimed that he has now become one of Britain’s most prolific graffiti artists.
The HELCH tag has popped up on bridges and at tube stations in London – including Notting Hill Gate and Sloane Square – and on motorway bridges on the M4, M1 and M25.
The word first started cropping up in Harrow, in west London in September 2018.
And the much-loved ‘Give Peas A Chance’ mural over the M25 in Buckinghamshire, was painted over, and now reads: ‘Give HELCH a break.’
‘Michael has been doing this since he was a kid, like 11 or 12 years old,’ claimed a former friend. ‘He is part of a group of lads who go out and do it.
‘He wants to be famous and seems to think he’s going to be the next Banksy.’
Another friend said Purdy was with a group who legally scrawling graffiti on wooden boards put up ahead of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Speaking from his parents’ home in Hayes, Middlesex, (pictured) Purdy’s mother Lynn, 57, said her son denies being a graffiti artist
HELCH also appears on this blue bridge in Bristol, at the junction with the M4 and M32
They told MailOnline: ‘I was with him on Friday night before the carnival and he was painting his tag then, which is a tradition. We do it every year.’
Purdy was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, after he pleaded guilty to possession of over £1,000-worth of class A and class B drugs at Cambridge Crown Court in June last year. One charge of supplying drugs was dropped.
Security guards at Secret Garden Party in Cambridge claimed he had smuggled vast quantities of ketamine, MDMA, cocaine and cannabis as well as scales to measure out the drugs and bags to package them up, into the music festival.
The graffiti on a railway viaduct in Windsor is believed to have been painted in March this year.
However the Queen’s loathing of the ‘gratuitous vandalism only came to light this week.
The paint has been sprayed on the viaduct, which is a three-mile single track railway between Windsor and Slough opened in 1849.
The much-loved ‘Give Peas A Chance’ mural over the M25 in Buckinghamshire, was painted over by the graffiti yob
The bridge now reads Give HELCH a break’
The line was used by Queen Victoria’s royal steam train and the famous playing fields of Eton College where Prince Harry and William went to school lay on the other side of it.
The viaduct takes the railway over the River Thames and is the world’s only wrought iron bridge still in regular use. It was designed by Isambard Brunel and is Grade 2 listed.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: ‘All graffiti removal comes at the taxpayers’ expense and we only remove it when it is deemed offensive or else the people who do it go back and just do it again.’