Graffiti artist sentenced to community service and probation

A local graffiti artist has been sentenced to six months probation and been ordered to pay for all damages. Jesse Pickles, also known as Sonic, plead guilty to all charges in court on Wednesday afternoon.

A local graffiti artist has been sentenced to six months probation and been ordered to pay for all damages.

Jesse Pickles, also known as Sonic, plead guilty to all charges in court on Wednesday afternoon.

On September 8, the RCMP was contacted by a witness who claimed there were two male teens vandalizing vehicles at the corner of 6th and Ogilvie.

Police found Pickles near the scene, smelling strongly of paint fumes and with blue paint on his sweater.

A can of blue spray paint was found nearby.

Two trucks and a motor home had been vandalized. Repair costs were assessed at $1,619.82.

The graffiti was done in both blue and grey paint, many with the tag EZ.

Asked by Justice of the Peace Dean Cameron, Pickles told the court that the letters didn’t really mean anything.

“We were just drinking and found the paint cans over by the clay cliffs,” said Pickles, who was representing himself.

“It was just stupid fun.”

Once caught by the police, the 19-year-old admitted to being Sonic – that name being one of the tags that is frequently found throughout town.

However, Pickles was unable to give police the last name of his accomplice, claiming to only know his first.

Mayor Bev Buckway appeared in court to discuss the growing impact of graffiti in the city.

Apart from being an eyesore, graffiti also causes visitors to think that Whitehorse is a crime-ridden city, she said.

Vandalism is very costly for businesses and the city, which spent $100,000 cleaning up after vandals last year.

The mayor requested the Pickles be sentenced to community service and that some of that time be used cleaning up graffiti.

“It’s recognized in some places that graffiti is an art form, but when it’s just meaningless sprawl – that’s just straight vandalism,” said Cameron.

“If you think you’re an artist then that’s great, but not when it costs other people money.”

Pickles was sentenced to six months probation in which he’ll be expected to keep the peace and be on good behaviour.

He was also sentenced to 20 hours of community service, which must be done to the benefit of the city.

And at no time during that probation will he be allowed to possess a can of spray paint.

The Crown attorney only asked that Pickles be required to pay half of the damages because he had only committed half of the damages.

Cameron saw things differently.

He gave Pickles a separate civic restitution order finding him responsible for all of the damages.

He was given one year to pay the $1,619.82 or risk being sued by the victims.

“And if you see your friend on the street get the other half of the money from him,” Cameron told Pickles.

“Because he now owes you.”

Contact Chris at

chriso@yukon-news.com

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