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Man denies urinating on war memorial

A man swore at a church verger while urinating on a war memorial, allegedly telling him: "They are all dead anyway, there is no-one under there," a court heard today.

Ian Marshall, 49, is alleged to have made the comments as he urinated on the war memorial in Otley Road, Leeds, in November last year.

Marshall, of Gill Lane, Leeds, admitted outraging public decency by urinating in public, but denies actually urinating on the war memorial or making the insulting comments.

The case was adjourned until April 6 at Leeds Magistrates' Court today. On that day a number of witnesses will be called to give evidence during a Newton hearing to determine the facts.

Prosecuting, Lisa Carlton said: "The Crown's case is that Mr Ellis's (the verger) attention was drawn to the defendant.

"He had climbed steps leading to the memorial and holding on to railings urinated on the memorial through to where the wreaths were clearly on display. That is what is at dispute."

She told the court that when Marshall was approached by the church verger he became aggressive.

"When approached by Mr Ellis the defendant is alleged to have become aggressive, shouting, telling him to f*** off, f*** off, you c***.

"When Mr Ellis reminded him of the recent Sheffield case he responded 'F*** off they are all dead anyway. There is no-one under there'."

Marshall's lawyer, Abbi Whelan, said her client disputed the prosecution's version of events.

She added: "The comments made are definitely disputed. Mr Marshall is adamant he did not make any of these comments."

Miss Carlton added: "The Crown say he did urinate on the area where the wreaths are and also made a number of comments to Mr Ellis who is the church verger."

Last year, student Philip Laing, 19, was photographed soaking poppy wreaths during a mass student bar crawl in Sheffield city centre. His actions caused revulsion after he was caught urinating over wreaths of poppies at a war memorial in the city.

He was spared jail and was ordered to do community service instead.