Three young men who sprayed graffiti on public buildings in Devizes have admitted committing the offences.

Martin Kennedy, 24, Jake Wilshire, 20, and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, admitted two charges of causing criminal damage when they appeared at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Vivian Thatcher, prosecuting, said the graffiti occurred between November and December last year on Wiltshire Council buildings in the Market Place, Snuff Street and Sheep Street and the former health clinic in New Park Street.

Mr Thatcher said: “Due to the items sprayed the police had an idea who were involved and the defendants were interviewed and gave full admissions.”

The former health clinic is boarded up and is planned to be demolished as part of proposals to redevelop the site.

The case against the 16-year-old, of Trowbridge, was adjourned until January 31 in Salisbury Youth Court for sentence.

The court heard that Kennedy, formerly of The Brittox but now of no fixed address, and Wilshire, of Market Place, both had previous convictions and were unemployed.

Kennedy was in breach of a conditional discharge imposed by North West Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court for damaging a kitchen window.

Andrew Eddy, defending both Kennedy and Wilshire, said: “In interview with the police Mr Kennedy accepted writing ‘Shifty’ on the locations. He was bored. He was sorry for doing it. He said he was willing to make good the damage. He has no real explanation for it – he had recently split up with his ex-partner.

“Mr Wilshire accepts it was stupid to do what he did. He is involved in a relationship and he says that is a good thing. His girlfriend is keeping him out of trouble.”

Presiding magistrate Jackie Lampard told Kennedy and Wilshire: “I wish it was in the power of the court to make you scrub the graffiti off. Regrettably it is not.”

Magistrates imposed a community order for 12 months and ordered Kennedy and Wilshire to do out 57 hours’ unpaid work. No order for compensation or costs was made but each must pay a £60 victim surcharge.