Graffiti teen: painting was 'street art'

A TEENAGER who graffitied Launceston's Myer and Harris Scarfe stores ``for everyone to see'' faces thousands of dollars in damage bills.

The 18-year-old, who cannot be named because he was a minor at the time, climbed on to the buildings to paint his ``crew's'' tag with a co-accused, the Launceston Supreme Court heard yesterday.

The Myer piece was carried out between September 2011 and January 2012 and Harris Scarfe was also vandalised in January.

Defence counsel Grant Tucker said his client at the time considered the tags to be street art.

``They consider it art . . . I accept the wider community doesn't accept it as art,'' Mr Tucker said. 

Mr Tucker said his client pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity  and co-operated fully with police when they executed a search warrant at his Launceston home last year.  

The accused has since moved to Melbourne to attend university and was interested in pursuing art.

Chief Justice Ewan Crawford reserved his decision on a sentence but not the purported artworks.

``There's nothing artistic about one of these,'' Justice Crawford said. 

Crown prosecutor Steven Eley made an application requesting the accused be ordered to pay about $10,000 in compensation to the two companies. Mr Eley said when interviewed by police the accused admitted to painting the tags ``for everyone to see''.

Justice Crawford  adjourned sentencing until today while a report on the accused's suitability for community service was prepared.

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