Judge 'thanked' on behalf of all veterans as woman faces jail over Sir Tom Moore statue attack

The life-sized memorial stands in Hatton in South Derbyshire Credit: BPM Media

A woman is facing jail after pleading guilty to pouring faeces over a memorial for Sir Captain Tom Moore.

Madeleine Budd, from Manchester, pleaded guilty to pouring faeces over the statue of the World War Two veteran.

The 21-year-old damaged the life-sized memorial, which stands in Hatton, South Derbyshire on Friday last week.

She appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning and entered a guilty plea.

Derbyshire Police charged Budd on Monday with criminal damage to a war memorial to the value of £200 belonging to AGC Fabrications, whose managing director Austin Cox gifted the statue to Thistley Meadow.

A man in the public gallery thanked the judge "on behalf of every veteran member" after the magistrates hearing.

Sir Tom came into the public eye when he raised almost £33 million for NHS charities during the start of the coronavirus pandemic, by walking laps of his garden in the run up to his 100th birthday.

He was later knighted by the Queen before he died with Covid-19 in February 2021.

Prosecutor Jordan Pratt said: "The facts of the case is that on September 30, the defendant attended the location of Thistley Meadow in Hatton where there is a statue, a silhouette of Sir Captain Tom Moore."

Mr Pratt said Budd approached and "poured a bucket of human faeces all over the statue" while wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "End UK private jets".

The prosecutor said the incident was filmed and shared on social media as part of an environmental protest.

Woman faces jail for pouring faeces over memorial for Sir Tom Credit: BPM

"This offence lasted for a short amount of time, it is only 30 seconds in length but the impact of this offence is substantial," he said.

"This is an abhorrent act. I do not need to remind the court of the impact that Sir Tom had.

"He was a figurehead that a number of people rallied around in a fundraising effort that raised tens of millions of pounds in the height of the pandemic."

Mr Pratt said people will see Budd’s act as "hugely disrespectful" and acknowledged that she has attended a number of environmental protests.

He also argued the offence was pre-meditated and would have required a huge degree of planning.

Captain Sir Tom Moore was knighted before his 100th birthday Credit: ITV News

"The defendant has armed herself with a large amount of human faeces and turned it onto a statue," he said. "I imagine there will be a wide social outcry."

Mr Pratt said that although the value involved was relatively low, the offence would have a harmful social impact.

The court heard Budd had breached a conditional discharge from April by committing the offence.

The judge told the court that the starting point for sentencing could be one year and six months in jail.

Before leaving the dock, Budd asked: "Can I say something now?" to which the judge said she would have to wait until the full sentencing hearing.

A man in the public gallery then stood up and told the judge: "On behalf of every veteran member, thank you very much."