An artist has been ordered to pay for his own work, and to do 30 hours of community service, after getting caught in the act of writing on a business door.
“You have an interest in graffiti, and you have an interest in sharing that interest with others, but you need to accept that others don’t necessarily share your interest,” Judge John Combs told the vandal, Brett Robert Johnston, in Brandon court on Thursday.
In the early morning of March 20, police spotted a man doing something to a rear door of the Strand Theatre on the 100-block of 10th Street. Police found white graffiti, but it’s not clear if the tag was fresh.
However, police caught up with the man, Johnston, just as he was writing on an alleyway door of the nearby Town Centre. The act of tagging was caught on the officer’s in-car camera, and a white paint stick was found in Johnston’s pocket.
Johnston pleaded guilty on Thursday to mischief for the tag on The Town Centre door, but didn’t admit to the mark on the Strand Theatre door. Nevertheless, he agreed to pay $323 in costs to clean both doors.
Defence lawyer Patrick Sullivan said 28-year-old Johnston is a full-time mechanic, but also an artist with an interest in graffiti. Johnston had been drinking and was walking home when he decided to write on The Town Centre door.
Combs sentenced Johnston with a six-month conditional discharge that included orders to pay for the cleanup and do 30 hours of community service work.
» Brandon Sun