A 78-year-old man has been charged with wilful damage after vandalising a banner promoting the Walk for Daniel, run by The Daniel Morcombe Foundation on October 7, 2021.
Earlier, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, parents of the late Daniel Morcombe, shared “disturbing” footage showing a man purposefully defacing a banner depicting Daniel’s face.
The Morcombe’s released this footage after lodging a formal complaint with Queensland Police.
The banner was hanging outside Woombye Primary School as an advertisement for the annual Walk for Daniel, when it was vandalised with red and green spray paint.
The man, 78, vandalised the sign on October 7, 2021 at about 5.30pm. He was captured on CCTV footage from a service station across the road from where the banner was hanging on the highway.
The man’s white hair and bushy white beard was seen vandalising the signs while wearing a grey shirt, dark shorts, and holding a white cloth to conceal the spray cans.
It was revealed that the man also drove to and from the scene in an “old model Subaru Forrester”, according to ABC News.
The perpetrator was caught in the act of altering the banners by spraying over the Foundation logo, changing the dates to October ’88’ and by blacking out Daniel’s face by spraying green paint over Daniel’s eyes.
The Morcombe’s spoke with ABC before the arrest was made, stating, “I was pretty teary and really upset,” Denise Morcombe said.
“You don’t do that to a dead child.”
“This is not indiscriminate vandalism,” Bruce Morcombe said.
“This is very targeted, and the motives behind that we need to explore that further, much deeper.”
Daniel Morcombe was 13 when he was abducted from a Sunshine Coast bus stop near his home in 2003. After Daniel’s disappearance, Bruce and Denise founded The Morcombe Foundation, and have become fierce advocates for child safety.
In 2014, Brett Peter Cowan was convicted in the Brisbane District Court of murdering Daniel Morcombe. This conviction followed an eleven-year investigation.
Twitter users have reacted strongly to the news of this vandalism, with many expressing outrage at the graffiti.