Grampians National Park graffiti artist receives corrections order

A HORSHAM man who spray painted graffiti near a significant Aboriginal cultural heritage site in the Grampians destroyed the paint cans in a fire, a court has heard.

Caleb Boydcote, 23, faced Horsham Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with criminal damage, as well as drug and weapons charges.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Ronald Saines sentenced Bodycote to a 15-month community corrections order. 

The court heard that between September 1 and November 11, Bodycote and two co-accused went to Hollow Mountain in the Grampians.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Belinda Ryan said the area had Aboriginal significance.

She said Bodycote walked about one kilometre to a cave, where he caused extensive damage by spray painting the rock.

Bodycote then lit a fire and stayed the night, destroying the paint cans in the fire, before leaving the next day.

On November 18, police searched Bodycote’s home, where police located a receipt for paint cans and a map of the Grampians National Park, outlining Hollow Mountain.

Police also found about four grams of cannabis, cannabis seeds, shotgun ammunition, two swords, a homemade sword, a double-edged dagger and a butterfly knife.

They also found a torch, that was thought to be missing from the Horsham Police Station.

Police also searched a co-accused’s house in Stawell, where they found paint cans, a phone and a digital camera.

The court heard that photos on the phone depicted Bodycote damaging the rock face and lighting a fire.

A video showed paint cans exploding in the fire.

Senior Constable Ryan said Bodycote took responsibility for all the damage at Hollow Mountain and no-one else was involved.

The court heard that it cost $4267.44 to clean the rock.

Defence solicitor Julia Barling said Bodycote was in a downward spiral, smoking cannabis and making poor decisions.

“He bought the weapons off the internet or at second-hand stores – he didn’t know they were illegal,” he said.

Ms Barling said he had made a stupid decision when he chose to damage the rock.

Magistrate Ronald Saines said it was confronting to hear incidents of environmental vandalism.

“It not only affects the Aboriginal community, but the tourist industry and national parks,” he said.

“It is so disappointing that anyone would find this amusing.”

Mr Saines said he would have preferred if Bodycote was made to clean up the site himself.

“There are also elements of dishonesty and criminal damages, as well as various drug charges, which is concerning,” he said.

“You need to decide who you want to become, rather than being in the revolving door of the justice system.”

Wimmera Mail-Times