'Spray everything' tagger given chance

A 19-year-old man who tagged a Blenheim building considered himself to be more of an artist than an offender.

At the Blenheim District Court yesterday Wiremu Blake pleaded guilty to tagging a building next to Betta Electrical on Maxwell Rd.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jason Munro said Blake bought $80 worth of spray paint and used Google Maps to help him decide where to tag.

On May 13 he got onto the roof of Betta Electrical about 11pm and painted the large "artistic tag" with the letters "SE", which stood for "spray everything".

When spoken to by police about the tag he said he used to tag a lot in the North Island but the tag on the building was the only one he had done in Blenheim.

Blake considered himself more of an artist than a nuisance, Munro said.

The tag had since been removed by the Marlborough District Council at a cost of $300, Munro said.

Blake also pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully entering a motor vehicle.

Munro said Blake was found in the back of a limousine on July 25 about 12.05am.

The car was on private property concealed by a gate, and Blake had entered it through the driver's door, which was unlocked.

He told police he used the car as a place to sleep when he did not want to go home.

Judge Ian Mill said Blake had some ability, which he needed to direct "in the right direction, rather than infuriating the community" by using it to tag.

"I think there's an opportunity for you to turn things around," the judge said.

Blake's probation reporter had been "very encouraging", the judge said.

He ordered Blake to pay $300 in reparations for the wilful damage and cancelled a sentence of community work and reimposed 275 hours' community work on the charge of unlawfully entering a vehicle.

The Marlborough Express