“the reluctance of the victim” – charges from 22nd march 2019
Finally received a brief of charges from 6 months ago, when I sprayed over the video advertising screens at melbourne central station.
here is a copy of the brief:
I have been charged with “marking graffiti”, a summary offence under the graffiti prevention act 2007. This is the first time I’ve been charged with this particular offence.
According to the statement by the informant (the police officer placing the charges): “Due to the reluctance of the victim being forth right with providing information around ownership as well as costs of damages for the Television screens Victoria Police were unable to proceed with the charge of Criminal Damage.”
There are no logos or brand names on those screens saying which advertising company owns and operates the screens, something i had noticed, but had not thought too much about.
Now it seems to me that the screens are not owned by an advertising company at all, but probably a pay TV company, or some commercial media conglomerate or another.
The fact that the screens used to show Sky News Australia (owned by News Corp Australia) and now show some MTV channel shit, makes it seem pretty likely some commercial television broadcasters are the owners of the screens.
Obviously this is dodgy as all shit, and the business goons probably don’t want to say which mega-corp really owns the screens because they are in violation of a whole bunch of laws and regulations.
I guess I could argue that without the alleged victim (the owner of the property) coming forward to state that they did not grant me permission to paint over their screens, then the charge is not made out – but from the look of the way the charge is written, this might be another example of the reverse onus of proof:
GRAFFITI PREVENTION ACT 2007 – SECT 5
A person must not mark graffiti on property if the graffiti is visible from a public place unless the person has first obtained the express consent of the owner, or an agent of the owner, of the property to do so.
Penalty: Level 7 imprisonment.
What I mean by “the reverse onus of proof” is that instead of it being necessary for the police to prove I am guilty, it is up to the accused (myself) to prove I am innocent (that is, the police don’t have to prove I didn’t have permission, I have to prove that I did have permission)
Anyway, I probably already told the Police I didn’t seek permission anyway, and if I was asked in court I would say that too, lmao, so I guess it’ll just be another necessity defence for me :)