$20,000 bill for graffiti tour from Gympie to Maroochydore

A GYMPIE teenager has been jailed for his part on a $20,000-plus, amphetamine-powered graffiti rampage from Gympie to Nambour and Maroochydore.

Bradley James Graham Andrews, 17, pleaded guilty to 26 wilful damage charges alleging spray can and acid-etched graffiti at locations ranging from the Gympie police watch house to government, council and private business premises over 80km territory including Gympie and the Sunshine Coast between December 3 and March 18.

Gympie Magistrates Court was told Andrews and an accomplice caused damage requiring restitution of $21,110.39, of which Andrews' share was $11,457.69.

Victims included Gympie South State School, Gympie Regional Council, post offices, retailers and other businesses in Gympie and Nambour, a railway building, banks, a medical centre and the Maroochydore office of the Department of Communities.

The police prosecutor said some of the damage could not be repaired, particularly etched graffiti on perspex and glass windows.

Etched damage to the Gympie watch house interior would require repainting of walls and replacement of perspex security windows, which could not be easily removed.

Andrews and his co-offender had gone "on a significant spree, with significant cost to the community here and at the Sunshine Coast," he told the court.

A Nambour medical centre had suffered "about $10,000 damage to the windows," he said.

"A deterrent message needs to be sent to the defendant or he's just going to find himself in custody.

"He's only 17, but his offending is significant," the prosecutor said.

His offences, which also included stealing food from a Gympie supermarket, included some committed which he was on probation and subject to community service orders for previous offences.

"Probation and community service didn't work but a lengthy period of parole might provide the supervision he needs."

Defence solicitor Chris Anderson said Andrews accepted all the police allegations.

Andrews had told him the graffiti was "a way of expressing his emotions," Mr Anderson said.

"He was hitting drugs pretty hard at the time, particularly methamphetamine and this was affecting his mind."

In this state, "he felt he needed to express his emotions."

He and his girlfriend planned to move to Sapphire, near Emerald, to live with his father.

"He can earn between $200 and $1500 a day (gem stone) mining.

"He accepts he needs help with amphetamine use.

"He has mental health issues and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

"He's had a lengthy wake-up call (during is two months in pre-sentence custody," Mr Anderson said in a successful submission for immediate parole.

Magistrate Ross Woodford told Andrews: "You have no regard whatsoever for others' property. When you get a bit older you may have property of your own and you won't appreciate someone doing this.

"You have spent some time in jail," Mr Woodford said.

"If you continue this way of life then where you're sitting now, you'll spend most of your life there.

"It's all your choice," he said, sentencing Andrews to another 10 months' jail, on top of two months already served, with immediate parole and restitution.

"Any more sentences and your parole will be revoked and you'll be taken straight back to where you are now."

Gympie Times

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