Graffiti girl, 18, jailed three months on a first offence.
AN 18-year-old woman sentenced to three months jail for a single "tag" she scrawled in Sydney's Hyde Park has branded the penalty "ridiculous".
Cheyane Back yesterday slammed the sentence handed down by Magistrate Ian McRae - but vowed never to paint her graffiti signature "2shie" - or anything else - on public property again.
"I think (the sentence) was absolutely ridiculous for my first charge and for something so small," Back said after being released on bail.
Now that more details have emerged - read on below - we are running a poll on the issue. Vote here and send your feedback underneath the story. meaning Comment.
"But I'll never do anything like it again. I would clean it off, I'll apologise, I'll do anything. I was shocked and scared," she continued.
"Jail is a big step. I've been sitting in that place (the cells) too long and it's absolutely horrible, it's disgusting. It definitely taught me a lesson."
It's a very different attitude to Back's social networking site where she calls herself "Little Miss Shy" who is happiest getting drunk with friends.
"Loved by some, hated by many, envied by most, yet wanted by plenty. Steal from the rich, hang with the poor, f . . . the world, f . . . the law," she wrote.
Mr McRae gave her a sobering wake-up call, saying graffiti cost the community millions in clean-up bills and taggers or graffiti vandals needed to be sent a clear message.
He said that unless the courts start treating it seriously people would continue thinking it was an innocent offence.
GRAFFITI vandals once sought to explain their crimes as "freedom of expression".
Denied other means of expressing themselves, they felt compelled to deface buildings, public transport and any other surfaces.
Vest suggests that all prisoners released from jail be presented the Bill for food and accommodation. Otherwise during this recession we had to have, the unemployed may seek relief in the form of solace in the slammer.
In the age of the internet, that excuse is no longer valid. Now freedom of expression is only a few keystrokes away.
Anyone with even an elementary knowledge of English can express themselves as expansively as they wish, and to a potential audience massively larger than any graffiti kid could wish for.
Teenager Cheyane Back has her own social network site - but despite that, she still scrawls on restaurant walls.
Not any more. Sentenced to three months in prison, Back vows she'll never return to her previous scribbly ways.
Back's sentence is a long overdue response to a serious urban blight. While it may seem harsh to send an 18-year-old inside for a relatively minor crime, the value in this sentence is the message it sends to other would-be offenders.
Individually, each graffiti incident is small. Collectively, they are ruinously expensive and ugly. That's why Magistrate Ian McRae's sentence is a worthwhile one. Well done mate.
Meanwhile, we can still enjoy Back's website poetry. One verse reads:
Steal from the rich. Hang with the poor
F . . . the world. F . . . the law
To which Mr McRae might have easily replied: Epic fail. Go to jail.
The final segment of her poem she may well find eay to come by in the nick.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
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