A man has been sentenced to eight weeks in prison after pleading guilty to outraging public decency.

Ashwani Kumar, aged 54, of no fixed address, Swindon, appeared at Salisbury Magistrates Court today via live video link.

He was  arrested after officers from Swindon South Community Policing Team discovered approximately 50 poppy wreaths strewn across the ground by the town’s cenotaph in the early hours of Saturday 12 January.

An appeal was launched on social media for any witnesses to the damage and Kumar was arrested the following day after CCTV footage had been obtained which showed him committing the offence.

Superintendent Adrian Burt said: “Kumar’s actions have quite understandably shocked our local community and caused a lot of upset, disgust and shock.

“While intoxicated, he has ripped a large number of wreaths from the cenotaph and thrown them around – a completely mindless act of vandalism, showing no respect for those servicemen and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

“We completely understand that tensions are running high as a result of this incident and we would urge people to please remember that this was the act of an individual who has now been reprimanded for his actions.”

As well as the prison sentence, Kumar was ordered to pay £115 to fund victim services.

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