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Woman arrested after Cenotaph wreaths kicked and trampled

Published 05/08/2016

This is the moment a woman bends down to read messages left at a cenotaph - before kicking and trampling on the poppy wreaths.

The footage, released by Manchester City Council, shows the woman - in her 20s - then brazenly walk off with a friend.

The incident took place during the early hours of Friday at the cenotaph in St Peter's Square in Manchester where wreaths had been placed to commemorate the Battle of the Somme and the soldiers who lost their lives.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a woman was detained on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage.

Manchester City Council warned that people who vandalised the monument would be caught and punished.

A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we were called at 4.32am to St Peter's Square and arrested a woman on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage and remains in custody."

Councillor Pat Karney, city centre spokesman for Manchester City Council, said: "The protection of our cenotaph is of the utmost importance to Manchester and the message is plain - if you vandalise this monument to those who gave their lives for this country, we will catch you in the act and work with the police to make sure that you are punished."

It is the second time the cenotaph has been targeted by vandals in weeks.

A man was fined £90 after he was caught on CCTV kicking one of the wreaths in July. He also offered to undertake charity work for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

In February, another man was caught on CCTV urinating at the same cenotaph before stumbling away.

Handout still from video issued by Manchester City Council of the moment a woman bends down to read messages left at a cenotaph - before kicking and trampling on the poppy wreaths. PA
Handout still from video issued by Manchester City Council of the moment a woman bends down to read messages left at a cenotaph - before kicking and trampling on the poppy wreaths. PA

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