Teen had 528 paint cans, graffiti images
IMAGES of graffiti on his mobile phone proved the downfall of teenager Bradley Lankester who was today convicted of two counts of possessing instruments of graffiti.
Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard police who attended the 18-year-old's home in June had found 528 cans of spray paint in his bedroom.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mike Robinson told the court 148 cans had been used while the others were new or near new.
Lankester told police he used the paint to draw murals and denied using it for graffiti, Sgt Robinson said.
However, police who looked through the teenager's mobile phone found a range of images of murals and graffiti on such things as railway carriages, the court heard.
Defence solicitor Divina DeLeon, for the teenager, told the court her client instructed he did do murals for which he was paid and he had some receipts for such work with him.
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Her client accepted that it could be thought that he engaged in graffiti given the items he had but he just wanted to plead guilty to the charges and get on with his life, she said.
Sgt Robinson asked the court that the spray cans be forfeited but Magistrate Damian Carroll said that would seem unfair, given Lankester used some paint for legitimate works.
Sgt Robinson said police were seeking the forfeiture of 502 cans, leaving the defendant with 26.
Mr Carroll suggested he would impose a period of community service as penalty, prompting an officer from the Probation and Parole Office to advise the court that under relatively new legislation, "anyone convicted of a graffiti offence is to be placed on a 'graffiti removal order'."
The hours under the order to be spent removing unsightly graffiti.
Noting Lankester had no previous criminal history at all, Mr Carroll ordered the conviction not be recorded and ordered he do 40 hours community service under a graffiti removal order and forfeit 502 of the cans of spray paint.