Lout urinated on Burnley war memorial

Lout urinated on Burnley war memorial

NO RESPECT Jamie Gorton, above, who was caught on CCTV urinating on the war memorial

CAUGHT The war memorial near Burnley library

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A LOUT who urinated over Burnley’s war memorial has been branded a ‘disgrace’.

Jamie Gorton, 22, was caught on CCTV by council officials before police swooped on him, a court heard.

He admitted a charge of outraging public decency on November 28 – almost two weeks after hundreds of people laid poppies and attended a Remembrance Day service at the cenotaph.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle condemned Gorton for ‘desecrating’ the memories of the town’s war dead.

He said: “I am just sorry it was a suspended prison sentence - he should have been sent down.

“I find it difficult to understand how people can be so disrespectful to people who have lost their lives to ensure that the likes of him can carry on in the way that they do. I am absolutely appalled and disgusted. He is a disgrace."

Daniel Hutchinson, chairman of the Burnley soldiers support charity SALUTE said Gorton needed to be educated about the sacrifice made by veterans.

He added: “It would have been nice if he could have come to Salute and we could have shown him why there is such an outcry about what he has done.

“I hope he regrets what he has done now but I believe in education and if he could meet some of our veterans then maybe he would have a better understanding.

“We have veterans who are only 19, 20 and 21, who have come back from serving their country with injuries, who we try and help to readjust to civilian life.”

Coun Charles Briggs, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the borough council, said: “It is desecration to all these people who have saved lives for their town and their country.

“And it goes to show how CCTV can work in Burnley if it is used properly.”

Town centre CCTV cameras caught Gorton, of Hobart Street, Burnley, in the act as he urinated over the cenotaph edifice, next to the central library in Grimshaw Street, just after 4.20pm.

And after being tracked down by Lancashire Police shortly afterwards and arrested, he admitted a charge of outraging public decency, when he appeared before Burnley magistrates.

Magistrates gave him a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered him to undertake 100 hours community service.

He must also attend probation service appointments for six months and the court ordered him to undertake work to address alcohol problems.

The cenotaph in Place de Vitry sur Seine, is dedicated to the fallen in both World Wars and victims of major conflicts since then.

An older memorial, to those who died in the First World War, stands in Towneley Park.

The last Lancashire person to be convicted of outraging public decency by urinating on a war memorial, Wendy Lewis, of Blackpool, was also given a suspended prison sentence by magistrates.

Gorton was not at his Bank Hall home last night but a woman who answered the door said he was 'remorseful' over the incident.

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