Fined for ‘desecrating’ Derry War Memorial

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A district judge has told a man accused of being involved in ‘desecrating’ the city’s war memorial the incident was ‘designed to cause maximum offence to one section of the community’.

District Judge Peter King made the comment as 31-year-old Barry Diver appeared at Derry Magistrates Court.

Diver, of Patrician Villa, Strabane, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and resisting police on August 15.

The court heard police were sent to The Diamond after receiving a report that wreaths had been damaged at the war memorial.

There was a group of males in the area and officers attempted to find out who was responsible.

The group were ‘uncooperative’ with police and Diver began shouting loudly.

An officer was hit by another man in the group and the defendant struggled with police.

Defence solicitor Ciaran McGuinness said his client ‘got involved in something he shouldn’t have done’ on this night.

He added that Diver doesn’t have any animosity towards police and he regrets his behaviour.

Judge King intervened at this stage and said he was more concerned ‘with what he was thinking when he desecrated the war memorial’.

Mr McGuinness told the court his client has ‘very little memory’ of this because he was intoxicated.

He said that there is nothing to suggest the 31-year-old ‘has any views that would lead him to do such a thing’.

Fining Diver £300, Judge King said such incidents have the potential to cause wider disorder.

He added ‘this is a shared space and should be respected as such’.