Ex-Serviceman With PTSD Fined For Kicking Wreaths Off War Memorial
21 March 2018, 15:24
A former serviceman who was filmed kicking poppy wreaths off a war memorial has been fined £250.
Peter Lear, 49, who suffers from PTSD, was filmed for over 10 minutes vandalising the Bristol Cenotaph.
He could be seen kicking the tributes across the pavement during his rampage last month.
One of the wreaths hit a passer-by before a street cleaner alerted police.
Lear, of Knowle, Bristol, admitted a charge of criminal damage at Bristol Magistrates’ Court.
He could be heard muttering about "Home Office corruption" during his appearance.
When asked if he was a British national, he replied “I was" and added: “The way I have been treated over the past decade is disgusting.”
Jeremy Oliver, prosecuting, described how the incident took place at 6.30am in the centre of Bristol on February 25.
He said: “A street cleaner working in the city centre said he spotted a male kicking the poppies on part of the Cenotaph.
“He had been watching the man for a while, and he said he found the male’s behaviour disturbing and it caused him distress.
“He called 999. The male was kicking the poppy wreaths for approximately ten minutes, and he saw another male filming him.”
Matthew Coner, defending, said: “He was in the Armed Forces and is diagnosed with PTSD.
“He has a personality disorder and was sectioned recently.”
Lear said: “I had no treatment for 20 years.”
Mr Coner urged the court to give Lear a conditional discharge.
Sentencing, Judge Matthews said: “These are placed in the centre in memory of the great sacrifice men and women made for this country.
“You literally trampled over the poppies. I watched the CCTV showing you kicking them across the ground.
“I understand from what I have been told that you served in the Armed Forces.
“I understand that has left you with a lot of issues you have now.
“You will have caused distress and anger to people who have seen, heard and read about this.
“You trampled over the poppies and you trampled over people’s feelings.”