Man who vandalised ‘Saint George Michael’ mural found guilty

A man who vandalised an Erskineville mural that depicted singer George Michael as a saint has been found guilty by a Sydney judge of malicious damage.

Ben Gittany, who painted out the work by artist Scott Marsh with black paint, appeared in a Sydney Court on Friday. Gittany’s damage of the mural occurred following the postal survey into marriage equality.

The mural was widely criticsed by a Facebook group called ‘Christian Lies Matter’ and when Gittany was filmed destroying the artwork he said it was because it offended him on religious grounds. At the time a petition supporting his actions attracted 34,000 signatures.

Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman however had no time for Gittany’s excuse of religious beliefs and declared him guilty of malicious damage. The magistrate said his actions had caused a great deal of hurt to the LGBTIQ community and he needed to recognise that Australia was a pluralist society. Gittany will be sentenced in September.

Police are now investigating a series of death threats made against the magistrate on the Christian Lives Matter Facebook pages.

OIP Staff


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