Essex

Woman who urinated on Grays war memorial jailed

Grays war memorial Image copyright Geograph/N Chadwick
Image caption The memorial was surrounded by Remembrance poppy wreaths during one of the incidents

A woman who twice urinated against a war memorial has been jailed for outraging public decency.

Kelly Martin, 42, first desecrated the monument in Grays, Essex, in broad daylight when it was surrounded by Remembrance poppy wreaths in April.

She did so a second time while on bail in June, the day before the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The mother-of-five was jailed for seven months at Basildon Crown Court.

Judge John Lodge, sentencing, said: "Each of these offences is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate."

Serious nature

The judge told Martin: "What makes your case particularly bad is having been caught doing it one time, when the nation was commemorating the worst battle of the First World War you were caught doing it again in the middle of the day."

Martin, of no fixed address, was arrested on 2 July and convicted of two charges of outraging public decency and one of common assault and using abusive language against a paramedic the same day.

She had thrown a bottle at the paramedic, the court heard.

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The case went to the crown court after a district judge told an earlier hearing at Basildon Magistrates' Court he did not feel it fell within his sentencing powers, due to its serious nature.

In mitigation, the court heard Martin had spent seven weeks in prison on remand and was now "clean".

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