Two weeks ago Tamworth businessman Bruce Read threatened to go viral by uploading footage his CCTV cameras captured of three young boys he says vandalised his shopping centre.
Those cameras apparently caught them around the time something like $5000 worth of damage was caused when vandals smashed their way around The Atrium complex in the heart of the Tamworth CBD.
This week he backed down on his threat after one, obviously pushed by his grandmother or an elder family member, came in and apologised for what he did.
He did say sorry – but according to the shopowner, the kid, and we believe he is only 10 years old, and a fourth grade student in a public school in Tamworth, didn’t show one lick of remorse.
Mr Read, calling it like he does, succinctly, no-holds-barred and colourfully sometimes, suggested the young kid didn’t give a fig for what he’d done and showed no respect for anything about the incident.
Perhaps understandably, the elderly woman who is his caregiver was obviously concerned for his welfare and concerned about his part in this rampage.
In the beginning, Mr Read says the kids caught on camera taunted him as well – with lewd, rude and crude gestures.
He called their bluff, called them to account, and called on the community in a very indirect way, to support his one-man stand.
The overwhelming reaction from our readers was behind his response.
The ultimatum was to own up, apologise, or he’d show off who they were on social media.
Civil libertarians and legal experts were wary and police too were cautious about his extreme reaction.
Mr Read says that after conversations with police, he’s confident that they are confident there might be some real punishment to come.
We understand two of the boys are 10. Police have interviewed one. He’s apparently given up the names of the two others, although it’s no secret that certain teachers identified two of the culprits when footage was exposed by media. They’ve got a reputation for similar behaviour, so the thing now is to hope for some resolution that fits the crime.
It also appears these kids were already banned from the shopping complex. It doesn’t seem to have worried them and it reinforces the belief among many that while ever kids believe they are immune or isolated from real justice and the consequences of their actions, they will continue to breach the boundaries.