Man who urinated next to PC Palmer memorial jailed

Protests became violent in London on Saturday

Monday, June 15, 2020

A man who was pictured urinating next to the PC Keith Palmer memorial in Westminster has been jailed for 14 days.

Andrew Banks pleaded guilty to outraging public decency at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after he was captured on camera urinating beside the plaque honouring the officer, who was stabbed to death in the 2017 terror attack in Westminster.

It happened as violent clashes between “far-right” protesters and police occurred in central London on Saturday during a counter-demonstration to the Black Lives Matter marches sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Prosecutor Michael Mallon said Banks, 28, was in central London to “protect statues”, but admitted he did not know which statues.

He was said to have drunk 16 pints during Friday night into Saturday morning, and had not been to sleep.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to outraging public decency at Westminster Magistrates' Court

Banks contacted police after being confronted by his father, the court heard. His counsel Stuart Harris said his client was “ashamed by his action”, and had mental health issues.

Those attending Saturday's demonstrations claimed to be guarding the statue of Winston Churchill as well as the Cenotaph, after they were vandalised during anti-racism rallies.

But the event turned violent after hundreds of self-proclaimed “statue defenders” took over areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square.

A total of 23 officers were injured as police were pelted with missiles, smoke grenades, glass bottles and flares.

Some 113 people were arrested during the demonstrations, which were condemned by Boris Johnson as “racist thuggery” and described as “mindless hooliganism” by police.

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