A man who defaced a memorial for comedian Eurydice Dixon with a lewd symbol will serve an 18-month community corrections order, pay almost $20,000 in restitution and perform 200 hours of community work.
Andrew Nolch, 29, of Bulleen, was charged with criminal damage, offensive behaviour and making offensive graffiti for painting the symbol on the field at Princes Park in Melbourne’s inner north in June, just hours before 10,000 people gathered at the park for a vigil in Ms Dixon’s honour.
Ms Dixon’s body was found by a passer-by on a playing field at Princes Park in the early hours of June 13 after she was attacked as she walked home from a comedy gig.
Jaymes Todd, 19, of Broadmeadows, was charged with her rape and murder.
In sentencing Nolch on Monday, Magistrate Olivia Trumble said he had deliberately timed the painting to maximise its impact.
“Your intention was to have completed the vulgar image before the vigil commenced,” Magistrate Trumble said.
“You wanted to cause as much outrage as possible.
“The emotional damage of your conduct is immeasurable.”
Magistrate Trumble said arguments made by Nolch’s defence about the act being a “political statement” against feminism and the mainstream media were incomprehensible.
“Your conduct is inexplicable and your actions despicable,” the magistrate said.
“I am at a loss to understand how the image expresses the views that I’m told you hold.
“Whatever your personal views are about women, feminists and the circumstances around Ms Dixon’s death, they in no way justify your conduct.”
The magistrate acknowledged death threats had been made against Nolch and his family but said he had “sought to cause as much outrage as possible and it would seem that the response has been just that”.
Magistrate Trumble said a conviction was justified due to the serious nature of the criminal behaviour.
The magistrate sentenced Nolch to an 18-month community corrections order and 200 hours of community work.
The magistrate ordered him to pay $5000 to the MFB, which cleaned up the graffiti, and about $14,000 to the City of Melbourne to cover the cost of replacing the turf.