Swindon War Memorial Vandal Apologises

Posted on January 16, 2019

The 54-year-old, who had recently been released from prison, told Salisbury Magistrates’ Court that he was an alcoholic and could not remember scattering the wreaths into the street in the early hours of Saturday. He had drunk around three-quarters of a bottle of vodka and was not taking his depression medication before committing the offence, the court heard. Kumar told the court through a video link from custody: “I don’t remember anything but what I see on the CCTV I plead guilty.

“I don’t remember it, I feel bloody shameful. I have been 34 years here and I’ve never done anything like this. I’m an alcoholic. I’m very sorry.”

Following the incident, Swindon South Police posted on Facebook: “This was a mindless act of vandalism and shows complete disregard for those service men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice in service of this country.”

Passing sentence, magistrate Simon Crichton said: “This was a serious matter and would have caused great offence to many people. It’s further made serious by the fact you committed the offence soon after being released from prison.” Kumar would have been handed a 12-week custodial sentence but it was reduced to eight weeks owing to his early guilty plea, Mr Crichton said.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115. Kumar, who lives in a car park in Swindon and receives benefits, had recently served 17 weeks in jail for battery, criminal damage and assault, the court heard.

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