Teen admits squirting paint during PM tour

Cheryl Goodenough
·2-min read

A 19-year-old woman has admitted smearing red paint over the doors of a university research centre during a tour by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Tyler Michelle Hingst told a Brisbane court she regrets her conduct during a protest when Mr Morrison visited Queensland during the state election campaign last year.

The action took place when the prime minister toured a COVID-19 vaccine lab at the University of Queensland on October 12.

He was supposed to greet people outside the building, but instead moved inside due to the protesters.

The court heard Hingst took red paint from a bag before squirting it on the glass doors of the university's Australian Institute of Bio-engineering and Nanotechnology.

Red paint was also thrown at the Prime Minister's white ministerial BMW, but Hingst was not charged with any involvement in that offence.

She pleaded guilty to one count of committing public nuisance when she appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The court heard the behaviour was out of character, but an example of someone with a passion for social justice misdirecting that passion.

Magistrate Tina Previtera said the university student had serious things to say about things she believed in.

"But this is not the way to go about it," she told Hingst.

"This isn't a good way to behave if you want to be taken seriously.

"It demeans you, it demeans your cause, when your cause may indeed be very worthwhile."

Hingst was given a good behaviour bond for 12 months, requiring her to pay a $500 fine if she commits another offence during that time.

No conviction was recorded.

As part of her bail conditions Hingst was banned from going within 250 metres of Mr Morrison.

She was also banned from attending any location that Mr Morrison is expected to attend, or where he is conducting a media event, publicity event or any official business.