The judge told Andrew Banks that he had shown ‘no respect’ to PC Keith Palmer, who died fighting a terrorist in Westminster
A man from Essex has been sentenced to two weeks in prison after he was photographed urinating in public beside the memorial to Police Constable Keith Palmer in London.
Andrew Banks, aged 28, from Stansted, pleaded guilty to outraging public decency at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Banks caused outrage throughout the country after he was caught on camera urinating next to a memorial for the murdered police officer, during protests against the removal of controversial statues and memorials on Saturday.
Prosecutor Michael Mallons said that Andrew Banks had travelled to central London to engage in an all-night drinking session when he decided to join with a group of the Football Lads Alliance, who were in London to “protect the statues”, but did not know “which statues” they were there to protect.
This comes after the Prime Minister has said that there is “much more that we need to do” to tackle racism, as he announced a new commission to look at all “aspects of inequality”.
Banks had reportedly consumed 16 pints on Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday morning and had not slept when he urinated on the memorial.
Banks eventually turned himself in to police after being confronted by his father about the incident, which according to the judge caused “public revulsion”.
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot sent Banks to jail and told him: “I accept you were drunk and did not know where you were urinating.”
“The irony is rather than protecting the monuments, you almost urinated on one. That was more by luck than judgement.”
“You showed no respect at the time for a man killed while protecting the Houses of Parliament.”
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood condemned Banks on Twitter. Mr Ellwood gave first aid to Kieth Palmer as he lay dying after being stabbed by terrorist Khalid Masood on the 22nd of March 2017.
He shared the photograph of Andrew Banks, which was taken during counter-demonstrations over the removal of colonial or slave-related monuments, following the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston being pulled down by anti-racism protesters in Bristol in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Those attending Saturday’s gathering had claimed to be guarding the statue of Sir Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph after they were targeted and sprayed-painted on by anti-racism protesters at previous marches, despite this, some of the “statue defenders” were seen performing Nazi salutes.
The event turned violent after hundreds of the self-proclaimed “statue defenders” gathered around areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square where they threw projectiles, smoke grenades, glass bottles and flares at police officers in the capital.
A total of 113 people were arrested at the gathering, and the “protest” was condemned by Boris Johnson as “racist thuggery” and described by the police as “mindless hooliganism”.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, welcomed the sentencing and said: “This was a sickening image we saw at the weekend.”
“I am glad the perpetrator has come forward and pleaded guilty. This will save the family of Keith any further trauma.”