December 13 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
A man who defaced the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park with the words “Lee Rigby’s killers should hang” has been told he faces a minimum of a suspended jail sentence.
Daniel Smith, 21, was told by District Judge Quentin Purdy that there were people who had been “deeply offended” by his actions when he defaced the monument in June.
Sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the judge said: “There are those who are deeply offended by what you chose to do and may wish you considerable ill, I am sure, simply because you chose to do it.”
Adjourning sentencing to Thursday, while the possibility of bail hostel accommodation is explored, Judge Purdy, told Smith, from Grecian Street North, Salford, Lancashire, that he faced a minimum suspended jail sentence.
“I make this clear that because of the criminal damage you chose to do back in June - that has to be met by a term of imprisonment, though it may be that that can be suspended - so the minimum penalty is a term of suspended imprisonment,” he said.
The court heard that Smith, who has already spent 11 weeks in custody, admitted writing “Lee Rigby’s killers should hang” on the memorial in central London on June 5 - a monument he said he did not realise was a war memorial.
His defence counsel, Colleen Gildernew, told a hearing at the court last week that Smith was “disgusted with himself” for the act.
He had also daubed “EDL” and “F**** the police” on the memorial in Green Park.
Damage to the memorial, created to remember the thousands of RAF crew who lost their lives in the Second World War, amounted to £870.
The memorial was vandalised twice in just over a week following the murder of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich on May 22.
Smith was remanded in custody.