Business owner, 71, hunts down graffiti artists
UPDATE 5PM: HE watched as three men graffitied his car repair business before a 71-year-old man and his granddaughter got into their ute and hunted them down.
Barry Mills, a car repairman, and his 20-year-old granddaughter Bree saw Andrew John Harding and two other people spray tags on their Brisbane St, West Ipswich property in the afternoon of October 29 last year.
Speaking after the sentencing of Harding, Mr Mills said the incident had a silver lining if it taught the offenders a lesson.
He said he hoped the men understood the impact of their offending.
"It would be nice to see them not be like that, I wouldn't want them to stay like that, it's not a good way to live," he said.
"If they can change and see things in a different light, that's great, they would be better people.
"If they could change their thinking and their manner and not be aggressive. It can go from one to 10 with bad intentions but if they could see that differently it would be good. So long as there is some good that comes out of it for them."
Bree said she was thankful members of the public stepped up when they did.
"If the bystanders weren't there, it would have ended a lot differently," she said.
"The people like that just need a bit of help to get on the right track."
EARLIER: HE watched as three men graffitied his car repair business before a 71-year-old man and his granddaughter got into their ute and hunted them down.
The car painter and detailer and his 20-year-old granddaughter saw Andrew John Harding and two other people spray tags on their Brisbane St, West Ipswich property in the afternoon of October 29 last year.
They saw the three men jump the fence and run off so they got in their Hilux ute and went looking for them.
The pair found the men less than 1km away and started taking photos of them before a scuffle broke out.
One of the men threw the camera on the ground, smashing it into pieces, the 20-year-old victim was hit in the face and Harding swung punches at both the victims before they wrestled on the ground.
Harding went to the open window of the Hilux and snatched the keys, forcing members of the public to diffuse the situation.
Police found the men hiding behind a restaurant later the same afternoon and struggled with them before they
Harding pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court yesterday to eight charges including two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm in company and one count each of common assault, stealing, wilful damage, wilful damage by graffiti, obstruct police and unlawful entry of a vehicle.
In a letter of apology to the court, Harding said, "it was pathetic and disrespectful to society and I regret in deeply".
The court heard he had little recollection of the afternoon but when he saw the CCTV footage said, "that's disgusting, I can't believe I did that".
The two co-accused, a man in his 30s and another man in his 20s, were sentenced previously.
Judge Greg Koppeol said the offending was stupid and Harding "knew it".
"You might think this is a fun way to spend your Saturday night with your mates but it's we the public who have to pay for it," Judge Koppenol said.
Harding was sentenced to a head sentence of six months imprisonment wholly suspended for 18 months.