Eco-protester pours human faeces on Captain Tom memorial Invalid email
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The woman who plead guilty to pouring faeces over a memorial for Sir Captain Tom Moore was spared jail today. Madeleine Budd, 21, from Manchester, was handed a 21-week prison term, suspended for 18 months. She attacked the life-sized steel silhouette of the WW2 veteran in Hatton, south Derbyshire, on September 30. The statue had been erected to celebrate Sir Captain Tom, who became a national hero when he raised almost £33million for NHS charities during the first wave of the Covid pandemic by walking laps of his garden, as he approached his 100th birthday.
During a heading on October 4, Ms Budd pleaded guilty to the charges from Derbyshire Police of criminal damage to a war memorial to the value of £200 belonging to AGC Fabrications – whose managing director Austin Cox had gifted the statue to Thistley Meadow.
Today, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the stunt caused “outrage amongst society” after it was filmed and shared on social media.
Katie McFadden, defending the former Manchester University medical student, said: “She has expressed she will not undertake actions such as this in the future,” said Katie McFadden, defending the former Manchester University medical student.
“She has clearly reflected on the impact of her actions and expressed how she is sorry for any offence caused to the family of Captain Tom.”
Woman who poured faeces over Captain Sir Tom statue sentenced (Image: Getty / EndUKPrivateJets)
Madeliene Budd escaped jail after being handed a suspended 21-week sentence (Image: PA)
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Last month, Ms Budd was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to causing £200 worth of criminal damage to a war memorial. She had spent three weeks in prison.
But today she was spared an immediate jail sentence when the judge handed her a 21-week prison term, suspended for 18 months.
District Judge Louisa Cieciora told her: “You had clearly thought about what would cause the most amount of outrage and publicity. “The cost of repair was low, around £200.
“Although the substance you used was deliberately chosen as being the most demeaning and disgraceful as possible, equally it was a substance which can be easily cleaned.”
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Ms Budd poured faeces over the memorial to Captain Sir Tom (Image: EndUKPrivateJets)
The judge noted Ms Budd’s young age and her deeply held views on climate change, adding: “Given your actions could not or have not achieved what you wanted them to and you want to find a better way to express your message. I am just about persuaded I can suspend your sentence.”
Ms McFadden said Ms Budd had been living in a caravan with a chemical toilet, so the substance was “readily available”, adding she had cleaned the statue of Sir Tom following her action using water and tissue paper.
She said: “The thought process behind this was to cause moral disruption, to draw people’s attention to the things that are going on in the world around her, to try and make people feel something, to try and get a visceral reaction so people will stand up and start to take notice of the climate crisis.”
Prosecutor David Burns told the court “serious distress has been caused”, and said: “Captain Tom was a figure well-known to the public. His work and charity had a great impact during the Covid crisis,” he said. “The matter has caused some outrage amongst society in general.”
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Ms Budd was calling for the UK to end the use of private jets (Image: EndUKPrivateJets)
Captain Sir Tom Moore was knighted by the Queen (Image: Getty)
During the hearing on October 4, in which Ms Budd made her guilty plea, Prosecutor Jordan Pratt said: “The facts of the case is that on September 30, the defendant attended the location of Thistley Meadow in Hatton where there is a statue, a silhouette of Sir Captain Tom Moore.”
Mr Pratt said Ms Budd approached and “poured a bucket of human faeces all over the statue”. He added that Ms Budd was wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “End UK private jets”.
Describing it as a “abhorrent act”, the prosecutor went on to state that while the offence only lasted “a short amount of time”, its impact was “substantial”. He also emphasised the impact of Captain Sir Tom, stating: “He was a figurehead that a number of people rallied around in a fundraising effort that raised tens of millions of pounds in the height of the pandemic.”
He also argued that the offence was pre-meditated and would have required a huge degree of planning. The prosecutor said: “The defendant has armed herself with a large amount of human faeces and turned it onto a statue.”
Captain Sir Tom Moore became a national icon for raising so much money for the NHS (Image: Getty)
The prosecutor also claimed Ms Budd was a “gun for hire” who was not committing to a particular issue, but will commit offences at numerous protests. After being pressed by District Judge Louisa Cieciora, Mr Pratt added the protests Ms Budd was attending were environmental.
The court also heard that Ms Budd was breaching a conditional discharge from April by committing the offence.
The judge declined an application for bail from Francesca Cociani, who was defending. Ms Cieciora said she had “substantial grounds” to believe Ms Budd may commit another offence while on bail.
Following the October 4 hearing, a man in the public gallery then stood up and told the judge: “On behalf of every veteran member, thank you very much.”
Sir Captain Tom Moore was knighted by the Queen before dying with Covid-19 in February 2021.