Timothy Rustige, a 68-year-old from Altrincham, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of criminal damage at Central Manchester Magistrates’ Court following a graffiti campaign between September 2016 and August this year that saw him scrawl slogans on the River Bollin Aqueduct in Dunham Massey. Mr Rustige’s graffiti included anti-Israel slogans such as “BDS” and “Gaza bleeds”, but also antisemitic slogans such as “ZioNazis”, accompanied by a Star of David. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.
Mr Rustige was caught after Greater Manchester Police installed a hidden camera on the bridge, pleaded guilty to the offences and on 11th October he was ordered by magistrates to pay £500 in compensation and sentenced to a 12-month community order with 140 hours of unpaid work.
Regrettably, it appears that Mr Rustige was not charged with a racially aggravated offence for his graffiti that was antisemitic.
We commend Greater Manchester Police for taking this graffiti seriously and bringing Mr Rustige to justice.
Image credit: Facebook and CST