Man jailed for 16 weeks over Remembrance Day firework

Stuart Potts has been jailed for 16 weeks

Monday, November 11, 2019

A man who set off fireworks during the two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Stuart Potts, 38, let off two explosives from the first floor window of a disused pub in Eccles, while hundreds of people stood opposite at the cenotaph to pay tribute to the war dead.

He claimed he was given the firework by someone else and lit it "as a mark of respect" to emulate the volley of shots fired at some Remembrance Day events.

But he pleaded guilty at Manchester Magistrates' Court to one count of throwing a firework in a public place and a public order offence.

Jailing him for 16 weeks, District Judge Mark Hadfield said he did not believe Potts' story.

"I rather doubt that anybody in their right mind would think letting them off in the middle of that ceremony was a mark of respect," he said.

"It shows a staggering lack of respect for those attending and those being remembered."

Abigail Henry, mitigating, said Potts, who has 21 previous convictions for 39 offences, had shown "sincere and genuine remorse for his actions".

"He wishes, through me, to apologise to those present at the service or any wider members of the community who may have been affected by his actions yesterday," she said.

A veteran in attendance at the memorial service described the incident as "the most disrespectful act I have ever witnessed at a Remembrance Day".

Mr Seed, whose first name was not read out in court, served in the Royal Marines between 1965 and 1972 and was diagnosed with PTSD "aggravated by loud bangs".

A statement read out on behalf of a veteran said: "I can't understand why would do such an abominable act against a group of people like me who have or may have suffered like I have."

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