Man jailed for grievance graffiti

21:17, Oct 29 2012
Paul Smith
GRIEVANCE: Paul Smith's graffiti attacks were motivated by a long-held grudge against a Nelson lawyer.

A 65-year-old Motueka man who spraypainted graffiti outside two Nelson law offices and the Nelson Mail offices, because of a 25-year-old grievance with a lawyer has been sent to jail for four months.

Phillip Paul Smith was sentenced in the Nelson District Court yesterday after earlier admitting wilful damage and graffiti charges.

Smith starting reading a statement to the court outlining the history of his grievance, but Judge Denys Barry stopped his "diatribe".

JUSTICE OR DEATH: Graffiti sprayed on the footpath outside the Nelson Mail offices in 2011.

Judge Barry said he wanted to hear about the charges and Smith's claim he would offend again until he got justice.

Judge Barry said Smith used orange paint and a pre-prepared stencil to write the words "justice or death" outside two Nelson law offices, the Nelson Mail, Housing New Zealand and the footpath in Nelson on a number of occasions in 2011.

At the Nelson Mail he wrote his name and cellphone on the glass door in black pen.

He said Smith was using a grievance from the 1980s to try to justify his offending. A sense of justification he described as warped and coming from "skewed, distorted thought process".

Smith had convictions for intentional damage in 2005, where he was ordered to come up for sentencing if called upon, and wilful damage in 2004.