District Court Judge Ian Dearden
District Court Judge Ian Dearden Nev Madsen

Judge lecture to arsonists: art takes time, effort and heart

A VISITING judge has lectured two young Rockhampton boys about the impact of their arson attack on a school and the psychological impact on students.

Judge Ian Dearden sentenced four youths on Thursday for a string of offences including two boys for an arson attack on a Rockhampton high school.

READ MORE HERE: STUDENT artwork was among the items destroyed when two juveniles went on an arson spree through a Rockhampton high school last year that caused over $148,000 of damage.

READ MORE: Why teens lit fires at a school and caused $148k damage

"My wife is an artist and a teacher,” he said

"My daughter is an artist. My mother-in-law was an artist. My brother-in-law is an artist.

"I have many friends who are artists and I've spent much of my life walking in and out of art galleries and looking at art.

"One thing I know about art is it takes time, effort and heart.

"I watch my wife working for hours and hours. I watch my daughter working for hours. I've seen friends working for days, months on artwork.

"And when you are doing it at school, not only is it hard work that you are doing because you want that outcome to be something that represents what you are trying to achieve, but its also about what your marks are going to be.

"And we know from the Restorative Justice conferences that kids were deeply, deeply distressed and upset because they thought it might affect whether they got into university or Tafe.

"They were concerned clearly about how much time and effort they put in to it.

"They were distressed that a place that should be a place that you can feel happy and excited to be in an art wing, somewhere in school where you can go and do something that makes a difference, just went up... the art work and parts of it damaged... so quickly.”

Judge Dearden said due to his experience helping a family build a home, he has an insight into what it takes to build things, make things.



Fire inside building reported at 4am

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The burning material was taken outside to be extinguished.

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