Tribute to late friend winds up in court

A NIMBIN man who graffitied the town's main street altering the double white dividing lines for at least 20 metres so they curled in different directions to the legal road markings has been fined.

Anthony Grassby appeared in Lismore Local Court today facing four charges relating to graffiti that he painted on Cullen St over three days in December and January.

Police facts handed to the court stated Mr Grassby told officers he painted the graffiti as a tribute to a friend who had recently passed away.

The court heard Grassby had been drinking for several days to cope with his loss before he painted the graffiti.

"I was sad and wanted to paint things for Sandy, so I painted Live and Love and then I just continued," police alleged Grassby told them.

On December 30, Nimbin police involved in the case said they saw Grassby had altered the double white centre lines near the pedestrian crossing in the middle of the town for a distance of 6 to 8 metres, curling from side to side along the road.

The next day police noticed more altered road markings on Cullen St, outside the Nimbin Post Office, and a 10 to 12 metre stretch of the curly illegal road markings near the bus shelter at the corner of Allsop Park.

Nimbin police caught up with Grassby on New Years Day in possession of paint.

After being issued a field court attendance notice, Mr Grassby entered guilty pleas to all charges.

Grassby's solicitor Tom Trembath said the death of his client's friend "was a very emotional time for him".

"He expressed his feelings for this friend by writing on the road," he said.

When convicting Grassby, Magistrate R Denes said she would take into account his artistic expression.

Ms Denes said some members of the community were of the belief art should be confined to galleries.

"Not everyone likes that kind of art," she said.

She convicted Grassby on two counts of damaging or defacing property with a graffiti implement and two counts of possessing graffiti implement with intent to damage or deface.

Grassby was fined $100 on each of the four charges and ordered to pay $332 in court costs.

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