Jockey ?can?t believe? act of vandalism
By DAVID BANCROFT
FOR more than 30 years Mick Johnson has been coming to the Grafton July Race Carnival without incident.
But that changed on Monday night when vandals took to the former Ramornie Handicap-winning jockey's car with what appeared to be an iron bar, bricks and rocks.
They smashed every light, every piece of glass and dented every panel.
The car, a Toyota Starlite, was being assessed by panel beaters yesterday, but appeared to be a write-off.
It was one of three vehicles reported to police as being vandalised, but there were other reports that up to six vehicles had been hit in the central business district.
Mr Johnson, who won the 1971 Ramornie Handicap on Develope, said he had been woken about midnight by a patron where he was staying.
"You can't believe someone doing that," he said.
"It must have gone on for some time."
Mr Johnson said that when he first reported the incident to police, he was asked if the damage may have resulted from a vendetta.
"I have never even had an argument down here," he said.
"Unless it was from a punter unhappy with my riding years ago, but they'd have to have long memories.
"I think it's just random. I've parked my car in that area for 15 years and never had any problems.
"The police said it was a bit unusual that six or more cars were damaged."
Mr Johnson, who was injured recently riding trackwork, is hoping the bad luck does not come in threes.
Police said the damage had occurred between 10pm Monday and 2am Tuesday. Anyone with information that might assist inquiries should contact Grafton police on 66420222.