Jem McPherson leaves Lismore Local Court after facing charges of causing thousands of dollars worth of damage at Lismore car yards.
Jem McPherson leaves Lismore Local Court after facing charges of causing thousands of dollars worth of damage at Lismore car yards. Ross Irby

Cask wine 'causes $36,000 rampage'

A TEMPER tantrum fuelled by cask wine was behind a teenager’s $36,000 destructive vandalism rampage of motor vehicles at two Lismore car yards.

Jem McPherson, 18, from Lismore, pleaded guilty in Lismore Local Court yesterday to two counts of intentionally, recklessly damaging motor vehicles at 3.20am on November 19 in the City Toyota and Neil Pollard car yards and one count of intentionally, recklessly damaging motor vehicles at the Neil Pollard car yard on October 18.

Police facts before the court said officers had spoken to McPherson and a group of other people at 3am on November 19 near Oakes Oval. The teenager had taken exception to officers telling one of the group to stop ‘blabbering’.

Facts state McPherson was ‘seething’ about the comment when he later threw a shopping trolley against a motor vehicle parked in City Toyota that landed on the bonnet causing dents and scratches.

He then jumped onto the bonnet and windscreen of six other Toyotas causing dents and scratches and smashing the windscreens.

He also broke the side mirrors on a Commodore and a Camry. His actions were recorded on CCTV.

Police stated McPherson walked into Neil Pollard’s car yard and jumped on nine motor vehicles causing dents before jumping on and smashing their windscreens. The vehicles included three Subarus, a Mazda and two Daihatsus.

He was arrested after being recognised by police looking at security camera footage. Police said the car yard owners were seeking compensation of $36,000.

McPherson told police he was upset over officers telling his friend to stop blabbering and he just lost his cool. He said he drank three-quarters of a cask of white wine that night.

McPherson also admitted to maliciously damaging cars at the Neil Pollard car yard on October 18 after drinking wine at a party.

He told police he became upset after learning one of his friends had been diagnosed with an illness.

After leaving the party in a distraught state he began hitting trees as he walked home before entering the car yard where he damaged seven motor vehicles by jumping on their bonnets and windscreens.

His actions caused dents and scratches, windscreens were left smashed and rear vision mirrors broken. The cost of this damage was not available to the court.

Magistrate Robyn Denes ordered pre-sentence and psychological reports be done on McPherson and adjourned his sentence until February 12. She also wanted to know if any co-offenders had been charged or sentenced on the matter.



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