Grays Essex war memorial urination 2016
Kelly Martin urinated on the war memorial a day before the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme Google streetview

A woman has been jailed for urinating on a public war memorial twice over the space of a few months. Kelly Martin, 42, has been sentenced to a total of seven months in jail.

Mother-of-five Martin, of no fixed abode, shocked onlookers for desecrating the monument in Grays, Essex, in broad daylight in April while drunk. She did the same thing on 30 June the day before the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The court heard how it was mainly mothers with their children who witnessed her urinating on the memorial just before the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the deadliest battles of the First World War which left more than one million British, French and German casualties.

She was convicted of two counts of outraging public decency, one of common assault and one of using abusive language against a paramedic following the incidents. The court heard how she threw a bottle at the paramedic.

Upon sentencing at Basildon Crown Court, Judge John Lodge said: "Each of these offences is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.

"The two cases of outraging public decency involve urinating on a war memorial. Inevitably war memorials were constructed at the centre of towns and villages so on a daily basis people could be reminded of the sacrifices made by people who died.

"People use them as a place around which they congregate and that's not wrong, but when people take that step further and abuse them by urinating on them that's a matter the court needs to take very seriously indeed."