A woman has been convicted of outraging public decency after she twice urinated on a war memorial, including once on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Kelly Martin shocked onlookers when she dropped her trousers at the Grays war memorial on 30 June.
Disgusted shielded their children's eyes from the desecration, which was photographed and shared on social media leading to her arrest the following day. Martin, 42, who is an alcoholic, was convicted of the public order offence as well as common assault and using abusive language against a paramedic.
A worker who witnessed the incident and gave evidence at Basildon magistrates court said: "I saw her squatting down and urinating. It was directed against the base of the war memorial. I was disgusted by it. I thought it was extremely disrespectful so I reported it to the police."
Martin's offence came as commemorations were held up and the down the country to mark the centenary of one of the defining battles of World War One. The battle claimed one million soldiers' lives.
Commenting on the June offence, the Royal British Legion said: "The Legion is shocked and saddened to hear of this incident. War memorials and graves honour the memory of the British Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who defend the freedom we enjoy. They deserve to be treated with the utmost respect."
Concluding the trial, chairman of the bench, Stuart Cranmer, said of the crimes: "These offences really resonated with the local community." Martin was also found guilty of desecrating the same memorial by urinating on it in April in front of up to 20 people and will be sentenced on 25 August.