A man who spray-painted a local business has been ordered to pay more than $22,000 compensation.
Casino's Michael John Martin, 30, came before Inverell Local Court on Thursday, charged with malicious damage after "overwhelming evidence" pinned him as responsible for slathering a Bundarra business with yellow paint.
A lengthy investigation commenced after the owner of the business was called up on Australia Day by a friend who told him that his shop had been covered in paint.
A receipt for $197.45 worth of yellow paint and a bucket had been stuck to the door, and written on it read: "PAYBACK IS A BITCH BABYFACE".
It resulted in what magistrate Holly Kemp praised as "excellent police work", which tracked Martin down through forensic fingerprinting, sales receipts, bank records, CCTV footage, spending history and phone records.
Statements tendered to court said fingerprinting of the paint buckets, and the receipt left at the business, identified Martin.
Bunnings searched their systems and found the purchase happened in Bathurst, with CCTV footage showing Martin in a navy blue Ford t-shirt.
"I had nothing to do with it, I really don't know what you mean," he said when questioned at Casino Police Station.
He denied ever being in Bundarra in his life - "you'd have to show me on a map" - and denied going to the Bunnings store in Bathurst. He happened to be wearing the same navy Ford t-shirt when questioned by police.
Phone records showed the wrong-number call was made from Martin's old phone number, which he'd given to police telling them he'd replaced it a month or so before.
"What on earth was going on here?" Magistrate Kemp asked Martin's solicitor, Stephen Collins.
"We can't say there was full cooperation [with the police]... ultimately he has plead guilty to the matter at his first appearance at court," Mr Collins noted.
He said his client may want to get a second opinion on the "massive" compensation claim.
Magistrate Holly Kemp looked at the photographs presented to her and the circled quote, and gave her verdict.
"You caused serious and extensive damage to that property ... There was planning, it was targeted, and done with vengeance," she said.
He was convicted and placed on a community correction order for 12 months. He was ordered to pay a compensation order of $22,143, to "put right the damage you have done".
"I think that's absurd," Martin spoke out. "The paint could've been cleaned off with a couple of goes with paint thinner!"
"I suggest you stop talking now. This court has made its decision," Magistrate Kemp said.
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