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UK student faces jail after urinating on war memorial

By Joe Gullo     Nov 4, 2009 in Crime
A British university student was warned on Wednesday that he may face jail after he was caught urinating over a war memorial.
Philip Laing, a 19-year-old sports technology student at Sheffield Hallam University, was charged by police after a picture showed the young man urinating on a poppy wreath after a drinking session in the center of the northern city of Sheffield.
Reuters reports that District Judge Anthony Browne told the young man that, "The image of your urinating over the poppy wreath on the war memorial in this city will make most turn away in disgust, shock and sadness."
Laing pleaded guilty to outraging public decency when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court.
Browne said, "It has undoubtedly distressed and upset many. The war memorial is a sacred and a special place."
The court had heard that Laing had drunk a bottle of whiskey before attending an organized student drinking session. The court said that Laing had no recollection of the events that took place on October 11. The university press office contacted him and showed him the picture of what he had done.
According to Reuters, Prosecutor Ian Conway said Laing had immediately admitted the offense when arrested and told police he was "very, very drunk, the drunkest I've ever been since I've been at university."
Tim Hughes, Laing's lawyer said, "It's difficult to articulate just how embarrassed and ashamed this young man is." Hughes also mentioned that Laing's grandparents had fought in the war.
Laing was released on bail. His next hearing will be on November 26.
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