Travellers' mess angers local boy

A RAINBOW Beach teenager who “mouthed off” at a couple of Italian tourists said he was frustrated by backpackers making a mess of his town.

Timothy Robert Janek, 17, had been drinking with friends on the night of September 18 when they came across a holiday van parked on Kirchner Avenue.

It was believed the group hit the van while yelling at the occupants to “go back to where they came from” and it was alleged that Janet pulled out a knife.

Police were called and saw people running from the van when they arrived. During a search of the area, officers found Janek hiding in the bush with a bottle of alcohol, but could not find a knife.

In Gympie Magistrates Court to face a charge of creating a public nuisance,Janek denied having a knife and objected to some of what the police officers said about the incident. Janek said he didn’t hit the van but engaged in a verbal stoush with the two people inside.

“He was giving as good as he was getting,” she said and added that her client was frustrated by tourist vans parking illegally around town, urinating beside their vans and making a mess of park’s barbecue facilities and amenities,” defence solicitor Leanne Gordon said.

“There was no violence involved. This was a young intoxicated boy mouthing off.”

The court heard the community of Rainbow Beach had tried to address the problem of holiday vans parking illegally and the problems associated with it.

“I understand council no longer has funding to move these vehicles on,” Ms Gordon continued and asked Magistrate Maxine Baldwin not to record a conviction against Janek.

“He’s a young boy of good character... He’s lived in Rainbow Beach for 15 years (and) is a volunteer lifesaver,” she said.

“He has plans to join the army.”

Magistrate Baldwin said most people who made messes at Rainbow Beach were the “drunken idiots” she normally dealt with and not overseas visitors.

She said Rainbow Beach businesses would most likely consider backpackers and motor-home travellers as their bread-and-butter - necessary for the town to stay alive.

“You’ve got to treat people with respect. Imagine if they go back to their country with that image of Australian youth,” Mrs Baldwin said.

“And you want to join the army and represent this country? I’d be very concerned if you were to join the army with that attitude.”

Janek, of Double Island Drive, was placed on a good behaviour bond for four months.

Gympie Times


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