Jailed WWI plaques thief apologises to people of Derby

Matthew Mayer Matthew Mayer sold the plaques to buy alcohol

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A man jailed for stealing plaques from a World War I memorial has apologised to the people of Derby for what a judge called a disgusting crime.

Matthew Mayer, 30, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 18 weeks for his part in the theft of brass plaques which he sold to buy alcohol.

He told South Derbyshire magistrates he was disgusted by what he had done and wanted to pay his dues.

The plaques were taken from the Midland Road memorial earlier this month.

Mayer's co-accused Grenville Cockburn, 36, was jailed for 26 weeks on Wednesday.

Huge distress

The plaques, which bear the names of hundreds of Midland Railway staff killed in World War I, were later recovered by police.

District Judge Joanne Alderson gave Mayer, an alcoholic heroin user, substantial credit for handing himself into the police.

But sentencing him she told him the people of Derby had been outraged by his disgusting offence, adding that such desecration caused huge distress to the public.

As he was led away from the dock, Mayer said "I'm very sorry".

The plaques bear the names of hundreds of Midland Railway staff killed in World War I

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