Australia

Adelaide: Lachlan Reece Armstrong convicted with no further penalty over vandalism of crosses near war memorial

The court heard why a young man tore the cross to commemorate a soldier who fell from the ground near the War Memorial of Korea in Adelaide.

The court heard that the young man who tore the cross from the ground near the National War Memorial in Adelaide was very drunk when he had no memory of the incident.

Around 1:30 am on November 10, last year, 23-year-old Lachlan Reese Armstrong was approached by police after security footage captured a group passing through an intersection from the North Terrace.

Prosecutors told the Magistrates’ Court in Adelaide on Tuesday that Armstrong dropped the cross when he saw the police and tried to hide behind the statue.

According to police, he and two others were arrested, but the cross was dug up, bent, and broken.

They were founded as part of the RSL memorial site, which is built annually to commemorate the soldiers who died in the war.

Armstrong, who appeared in court via a video link from prison, pleaded guilty to one count of chaotic behavior.

He agreed that he was drunk at the time and said, “I forgot it” when asked if he remembered what he did.

Justice of the Peace Alfio Grasso recorded a conviction against him, but did not impose any other penalties.

“I don’t remember because he was so drunk and I’m detained for other things, so I convict him without further punishment,” he said.

He ordered Armstrong of Pukatja, the northernmost part of the state, to pay prosecution fees and taxes.

A second 46-year-old man from Alice Springs was fired after being warned by an adult from police. Meanwhile, the warrant for the third 19-year-old man whose address has not been determined is January.

After the vandalism was discovered, police protected the cross until the day of the memorial service on November 11.

RSL Memorial Manager Keith Harrison said the monument had been the target of destroyers in the last few years, but 2020 was the worst he had ever experienced.

He said dozens of crosses were damaged in five parts over nine days.

For generations, military veterans and school children have planted white crosses near the National War Memorial on the North Terrace for Remembrance Day.

Place of originAdelaide: Lachlan Reece Armstrong convicted with no further penalty over vandalism of crosses near war memorial

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