Sky News:- A man has been sentenced to two weeks in prison after he was photographed urinating next to the memorial to PC Keith Palmer in London.
Andrew Banks, 28, of Stansted, Essex, pleaded guilty to outraging public decency at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Banks sparked outrage after he was caught on camera urinating next to the murdered police officer’s memorial during protests against the removal of controversial statues on Saturday.
Prosecuting, Michael Mallons told the court that Banks travelled to central London for an all-night drinking session and decided to join fellow football fans who were going to “protect the statues”, but did not know “which statues” they wanted to protect.
He drank 16 pints on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday morning and had not slept when it happend, the court heard.
Banks handed himself in to police after being confronted by his father about the incident, which caused “public revulsion”, the judge said.
Jailing him, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot told Banks: “I accept you were drunk and did not know where you were urinating.
“The irony is rather than protecting the monuments, you almost urinated on one. That was more by luck than judgment.
“You showed no respect at the time for a man killed while protecting the Houses of Parliament.”
An elderly woman in the public gallery gasped and fled the courtroom with her hands over her head as Banks was jailed and made to pay £80 in court costs.
Defending, Stuart Harris said his client was “ashamed by his action” and had mental health issues.
Banks was condemned on Twitter by Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who gave PC Palmer first aid as he lay dying after being stabbed by terrorist Khalid Masood on 22 March 2017.
He shared the picture of Banks, which was taken during counter-demonstrations over the removal of colonial or slave-related monuments after one was pulled down by protesters in Bristol in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Those attending Saturday’s protest claimed to be guarding the statue of Sir Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph after they were targeted by anti-racism protesters at previous marches.
But the event turned violent after hundreds of self-proclaimed “statue defenders” took over areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square and hurled missiles, smoke grenades, glass bottles and flares at police officers.
A total of 113 people were arrested and the protest was condemned by Boris Johnson as “racist thuggery” and described as “mindless hooliganism” by police.
Welcoming the sentencing, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: “This was a sickening image we saw at the weekend.
“I am glad the perpetrator has come forward and pleaded guilty.This will save the family of Keith any further trauma.”