A good judge slams graffiti ratbag in clink overnight

Judge Tony Adeane would have been called a ‘hanging judge’ back in the day.

Yesterday he slammed a ratbag charged with graffiti offences in the clink overnight ahead of sentencing today.

Tagging the foyer of the court housing a judge known for his loathing of taggers is not the smartest thing to do.

It’s an observation Adam Kelliher might have been considering as he spent last night in a prison cell after appearing before Judge Tony Adeane in Napier District Court yesterday.

The duty solicitor for the day, James Rainger, could be seen flinching as Kelliher, 20, was called before the judge.

Rainger told the judge Kelliher wanted to plead guilty and noted that, due to “the court’s view of this type of offending, he could be at risk of prison here”.

At which point the judge asked to see a summary of Kelliher’s offending.

Rainger said: “You might want to, sir . . . well, you may not want to.”   

Adeane took a moment to read the summary before looking at Kelliher and saying: “Well, that’s not going to get a very good reception around here.”

On the afternoon of January 8, a court security guard was looking at CCTV screens and observed Kelliher lean over the balcony of the court foyer and use a sharp object to scratch words into the wall.

Rainger said he was aware of Kelliher’s predicament and he had explained this to him, and he asked that he be given a sentence of community work.

The judge replied: “With the greatest of respect, I disagree with your submissions, as you might expect.

“Anyone who comes in and graffitis this courthouse is going to get short shrift. Anyone who graffitis anything around Hawke’s Bay is going to get that. You do it here, then you’re really leading with your chin.”

He remanded Kelliher in custody overnight to be sentenced today.

An angry Kelliher was led from the dock and could be heard banging on his cell door for the next half an hour.

Now that’s what you call a Top Judge, far better than the crop of dud judges that show up in the news from time to time cuddling criminals and believing their sob stories.


– Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.