City offers graffitist chance to go legit’
An artist who admitted drawing on a trash can in Hamilton was shown mercy in Magistrates’ Court yesterday after the city government gave him a job on its community art project.
Dwayne Caines, chief operating officer of the Corporation of Hamilton, told the court that Jahbarri Wilson, 21, had been signed up to the City Beautification Mural Programme.
Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe gave Wilson a six-month conditional discharge as long as he remained in the programme.
Mr Caines told Mr Wolffe that giving young men such as Wilson a proper outlet to express themselves would be a benefit to the public. Mr Caines said that Wilson would get the chance to design a mural and paint it on a public spot in the city.
He added: “We recognise that we have young men who represent the best of us and we want to further their development. We want to allow Mr Wilson to further his talent in order to help better the community and show them what we can do when we work together.”
Mr Caines was speaking as Wilson was sentenced for wilful damage of Corporation of Hamilton property.
Mr Wolffe heard that Wilson, from Devonshire, was arrest on June 6 after he was seen drawing on the trash can in Church Street with a marker.
Wilson told the court that he drew a scene of children playing with a dog to make the trash can look better. Wilson said: “I was just looking at a trash can that was old and beat up.
“I wanted to give it a reason to be seen.”
Wilson appeared in Magistrates’ Court on September 5 and pleaded not guilty, but admitted the offence on October 21. The prosecution at first wanted a compensation order of $780 to buy a replacement for the defaced trash can.
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