Thoughtless Graffiti Vandal pleads with court to allow him to be with his family after damaging local historical church.
A GROUP of Graffiti Vandals broke into a historic Ballarat convent to smoke bongs, drink bourbon and spray-paint graffiti, a court has heard. Ballarat Magistrates Court on Tuesday heard Anthony Jose, 22, of Ballarat, was with two others when he climbed a fence and forced open a door at the disused Sacred Heart Monastery just after midnight on March 9 last year.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said the group spent 45 minutes in the convent, spray-painting walls and smoking cannabis, with security guards attending after the group set off an alarm. Senior Constable Prebble said Jose, after noticing the security, smashed open a window with a chair and ran.
The court heard crime scene investigators attended the scene a short time later, locating an empty bourbon bottle, which was forensically analysed and matched to Jose. Interviewed about the break-in last December, the court heard Jose told police “he just went there to have a mix” – a term used by cannabis users when smoking the drug.
Andrew Madden, for Jose, told the court it was his client’s first time in the adult jurisdiction, adding he had since sought treatment for his drug use, which was “exclusively cannabis”.Mr Madden said Jose had accepted he was facing jail time, but that he needed to be around for his pregnant partner, who is due to give birth soon. “He needs to be around to support his partner at this time,” Mr Madden said.
Asking for a community corrections order, he said his client was still young and accepted it would be his last chance on such an order. Ordering Jose to reappear in Ballarat Magistrates Court on June 17 for sentencing, magistrate Peter Mithen said Jose needed to “shape up”. “So far your choices have been poor. When’s that going to change?” he asked. “You have got one last opportunity in my court to shape up.”