Glue, graffiti and a day in court

A MAGISTRATE has ordered community service and probation for a teenager who scrawled her name on the Maryborough Courthouse with the glue she'd been sniffing in order to get a high.

Nikita McKinley had been inhaling the glue outside the courthouse in July.

She was so intoxicated on the substance she didn't clearly remember using the glue to graffiti a window ledge and some plastic chairs with her name. But the 19-year-old's signature was unique and was matched to some documents she had signed at court on a previous occasion.

McKinley was charged with wilful damage by graffiti.

Her addiction to inhalants led her to commit another offence in Maryborough in August.

McKinley and a friend entered BiLo supermarket and asked a shop assistant where the glue and sealants were shelved. The assistant led the girls to the correct aisle and then left. McKinley took some Selley's Multigrip from the shelf and left the store without paying.

Police identified McKinley from CCTV footage and they found her in the CBD on September 9. She admitted to stealing the glue so she could sniff it and said she had no money to pay for the item. She also made admissions to damaging the courthouse.

McKinley pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to wilful damage and stealing.

Defence barrister Sarah Laikind said McKinley had a problem with inhalants.

Ms Laikind agreed with the prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk when he suggested a community-based order could help McKinley to address her drug issues.

“Some supervision in the community is what's needed,” Ms Laikind said.

Magistrate Dennis Beutel said he hoped McKinley's probation officer would help her break her habit of inhaling substances.

“You have a real problem and the problem you have is going to affect your health. Some people think probation and community service is a soft option, but it's not, because you have to do things.You have to do the work when and where they tell you – not when and where you feel like it.”

Mr Beutel sentenced McKinley to six months probation, 80 hours community service and ordered she pay $6.85 compensation to BiLo.



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