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“Despicable” teenager fined £75 for spitting on First World War memorial in Forest Gate

The memorial outside Forest Gate Police Station in Green Street.

A boy from Ilford has been sentenced after spitting a a memorial to police officers who lost their lives in World War One.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, was caught on CCTV in May spitting at a stone laid outside Forest Gate Police Station.

The memorial, which was unveiled in 2014, features the names on 23 police officers who worked in Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Newham and died in the Great War.

An additional police officer, who was killed while on duty in the Silvertown Explosion of 1917, is also listed.

Investigators matched the boy’s DNA to the saliva found on the memorial and he was arrested last month.

He appeared at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 3 September accused of criminal damage.

District Judge Sims said the teenager’s actions were “not just disrespectful, but despicable”.

He was given a 12 month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £75 compensation.

Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker, said: “I hope that this sentence warns other against vandalism of any type. This act was particularly disrespectful against officers who selflessly gave their lives in the Great War.”

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