War heroes 'sick to the stomach' as Black Lives Matter protester who tried to burn Cenotaph Union Jack walks freeDecember 3, 2020
A BLACK Lives Matter protester has walked free from court today for trying to burn a Union Jack on the Cenotaph – to the fury of disgusted military veterans.
Baby-faced Astrophel Sang, 19, was filmed flicking a lighter in a bid to torch the flag – unaware it is flame proof after he had climbed on top of the Cenotaph.
Moments before the protester had been hostile and aggressive and enjoyed the attention he was getting as a crowd egged him on at the London war memorial.
Other members of the crowd tried to get him to stop and come down once he had got up.
Sang tried twice to set the flag on fire with a cigarette lighter while police tried to coax him down.
He clenched his fists and was aggressive towards the police.
The photography university student only stopped when an officer said he will use any means to stop him from setting fire to the flag.
Sang told cops in June: “I didn’t rip it. I tried to set fire to it.”
PROTESTER WALKS FREE
Protesters defaced Winston Churchill’s statue the same day.
Sang, from Birmingham, admitted attempted arson and was bailed to appear at Southwark Crown Court today.
He was handed a conditional discharge for two years and was ordered to pay £340 in prosecution costs.
The court heard how the teen “enjoyed the attention” as protesters egged him on.
Before attacking the flag, he was at the front line of the march facing police alongside the war memorial and was “aggressive” – clenching his fist, “thrashing” his arms, and screwing up his face at police.
Judge Christopher Hehir told the court his actions had caused “considerable hurt” to veterans.
He said: “In some countries trying to set fire to the national flag would put you in very considerable peril or danger.
“You are very fortunate to be a citizen of this country, the U.K, a liberal democracy, where justice is administered impartially and fairly.
'SICK TO MY STOMACH'
“Most people have the good sense not to get too worked up about flags. It’s a shame you chose to get worked up about flags.”
Kenneth Campbell, who served in the Army for nine years, including in the Falklands, told The Sun after the hearing: “It’s absolutely disgusting.
“This now opens the floodgates. This will not discourage anybody. Actions speak louder than words.
“I feel sick to my stomach. He should have been jailed. He should have got a prison statement.
“It should have been a statement to others that this isn’t acceptable.
“I had hoped he would have been set an example of today. But he hasn’t.”
Nathaniel Wade, representing Sang, told the court today that the teen was sorry and will “no doubt be many years under rate shadow of this offence.”
He said: “The irony, perhaps, is that he doesn’t seek to tie anything he did to the cause of systemic prejudice.
“It had nothing to do with it and the irony is that he recognises that he did damage to issues raised by the veterans and members of the public concerned with the commemoration of war dead but also the cause of addressing systemic prejudice."
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