Unstoppable tagger remanded in custody

Serial tagger Justin James Dunning is facing a jail sentence after appearing in Christchurch District Court today on intentional damage charges.

Dunning, 18, pleaded guilty to three charges and was remanded in custody by Judge Raoul Neave for sentencing on July 29, the Christchurch Court News website said.

While on a Red Bus on April 11, Dunning killed time by graffiti-ing the rear window and seat. Later he wrote his tag on a shop wall, which he admitted was "a stupid thing to do".

Then he tagged a wall on the corner of Colombo and Hereford streets, calling it "a spur of the moment thing".

He also faced a breach of community detention and three breaches of the Sentencing Act, because he "couldn't be bothered to get up" to do his community work.

When Dunning was sentenced for tagging 27 Fendalton properties in April, he got community work but told his supervisor on his first day that he would not be attending. He said he could not get out of bed that early.

Judge Neave wanted Dunning in custody, police prosecutor Sergeant Lisa Goodson wanted him in custody, and even defence counsel Gilbert Hay conceded that a remand in custody "might bring about a change in the defendant in terms of compliance".

Judge Neave told him: "You show you don't care one jot for what the courts or Corrections Department require of you. You consider you are above the law.

"This is where you find out that the law has a nasty habit of clamping down very heavily on those who adopt this type of behaviour."

He ordered reports for home detention and community detention to be made available before sentencing but warned Dunning: "Don't hold your breath."

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter