Man accused of tagging Aussie jet named

By Kate Shuttleworth

A droplet of spit has led to an arrest. Photo / Thinkstock
A droplet of spit has led to an arrest. Photo / Thinkstock

The man who allegedly tagged a swastika and spat on a visiting Australian aircraft lost his name suppression in court today.

It was a droplet of spit that police allege linked Charles Wilson Bullen, 35, to the tagging on the aircraft.

The droplet, on the wheel of the plane, led to Bullen's arrest three years after the visiting Australian military aircraft was vandalised.

A match was revealed when Bullen was arrested after a domestic incident on Christmas Day last year. Crown scientists used DNA to allegedly link him to the graffiti incident.

Bullen appeared in Waitakere District Court today.

He faced a charge of burglary and intentional damage _ which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years and seven years respectively.

The air force C17 Globemaster was plastered with tagging while parked overnight at Whenuapai Air Base in September 2008.

The multi-million dollar aircraft had to be removed from service while extensive repairs were carried out.

The plane had been extensively tagged, with the most offensive item being the swastika.

The Royal New Zealand Airforce apologised to the Australians for it.

Detective Sergeant Steven Salton said DNA samples from the tagging and a burglary in 2008 remained on the police databank.

The chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshall Peter Stockwell, said he was grateful an arrest had been made.

Outside court today Bullen would not comment on the crime or his alleged involvement.

Judge Brooke Gibson further remanded him on bail until a post committal hearing.

- APNZ

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