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Jail sentence for bus station vandals applauded

Jail sentence for bus station vandals sends the right message

Thursday 14 August 2008

The 42 day prison sentence handed down to two vandals who caused $27,000 worth of damage to a North Shore Busway station in a sledgehammer attack has been strongly supported by North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams.

In a brief but highly destructive act of vandalism last March, Jason Hendry and Michael Woodall smashed thirty two large glass panels but were filmed by security cameras that watch over the station 24 hours a day. They were quickly identified after the footage was given to Police by council staff, and arrested a few days later. The pair were charged with criminal damage and could have faced a maximum sentence of seven years.

However they have each been sentenced to 42 days in jail and ordered to pay $5000 in restitution.

Mayor Williams says he applauds the judge for noting the impact of the crime on the people of the city, who were outraged at the incident. “The community is very proud of the city's new Busway and appalled at the cost of mindless destruction carried out at the station.

“The sentence was well deserved and sends out a strong message – that vandalism is not trivial and will not be tolerated. What these two people did was pointless and stupid, and they will carry the impact of the jail sentence for the rest of their lives.”

He says the city will be keeping up the pressure on tagging and vandalism, and better reporting and security systems make it much more likely that offenders will be caught in the act, and convicted.

Security cameras are in place to protect each of the five stations along the Northern Busway, a public transport initiative which opened in February.


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