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Memorial plinth smashed in a fit of rage

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

Burton's Memorial Grounds off Lichfield St in Burton

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PAIN and anger were behind the actions of a man who defaced a plinth in Burton’s memorial garden, a court has been told.

Lewis Peach, of Gordon Street, Burton, caused £300 damage when he smashed the stone block in a fit of rage last September.

Burton Magistrates’ Court was told last week the 20-year-old was lashing out after a fight with his girlfriend, and unleashed his fury on the construction.

Terrence Perry, defending told the bench on Thursday that Peach has anger issues, which are exacerbated by ongoing pain from an injury which happened several years ago.

“He said he was still having considerable problems with pain from the injuries he sustained, but he doesn’t turn to drink, instead he feels like punching the wall.

“In this case he had a phone call from his girlfriend threatening to bring the relationship to an end, and he took it out on this plinth.

“It wasn’t meant to be disrespectful; he had no idea what it was, but that is no excuse. He shouldn’t break these things anyway.”

CCTV footage from September 6 shows Peach throwing stones in the area, before picking up the plinth and smashing it on the ground. He then walks off.

Andrew Bodger, prosecuting, said: “The memorial garden is an area of quiet and thought, and the damage to the area looked very unsightly until the repair was carried out. It is consecrated ground.”

After the incident, Peach, who works as a window fitter, went to see his specialist, and is now working with the crisis team and the charity Mind to improve his issues with pain and anger management, Mr Perry said. .

Peach, who admitted committing criminal damage, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay £85 costs, £300 compensation and £15 victim surcharge.

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