Bexhill Hall committee secretary Tom Johnston in front of the historic and now graffitied Bexhill Hall.
Bexhill Hall committee secretary Tom Johnston in front of the historic and now graffitied Bexhill Hall.

Jail threat shock a for accused

PEOPLE from all spheres of the Northern Rivers community have formed a united front to battle the graffiti offenders “desecrating” their towns.

The message, echoing through the justice system, the police and local government recently was that the community was sick of waking up to find tags sprawled across public infrastructure.

The Bexhill Public Hall was defaced this month and large, black tags now cover one side of the quaint structure.

The hall’s committee, who are all volunteers, were left to foot the bill.

“I feel like I have been stabbed in the back,” Bexhill Hall secretary Tom Johnston said.

“We are all pretty down in the dumps about it.

"What money we do have goes to insurance and this sort of thing is something we didn’t prepare for.

“We only have five members to repaint the wall.”

A Lismore magistrate sent a shock through the system this week when he told a 20-year-old man who was in court on graffiti charges, that he was “seriously contemplating” jailing him.

Duncan Munro was charged after he allegedly graffitied the Lismore Conservatorium, Lismore Centro Shopping Centre and a Chinese restaurant in May.

He told Magistrate Linden in Lismore Local Court this week that he wanted to plead guilty and asked for a fine.

Munro was obviously dumbstruck when Magistrate Linden mentioned jail.

“What (Munro) is doing is desecrating this town ... it has to stop,” Magistrate Linden said.

After seeking legal advice, Munro asked for an adjournment so he could approach his victims and offer compensation.

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said tagging was like a dog marking its territory.

“My major concern is it makes people feel that no one cares,” she said.

“Particularly tagging, the disruptive, mindless kind of stuff that makes older people quite fearful.

“The worst thing that could happen is we stop noticing it.”



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