Vandal who defaced a AIDS memorial ordered to carry out unpaid work

A vandal who defaced a memorial remembering victims of AIDS and HIV has been ordered to carry out unpaid work. Credit: MEN Syndication

A drunken vandal who defaced a memorial remembering victims of AIDS and HIV in Manchester’s Gay Village must carry out unpaid work.

Alaa Alanzi, 23, has been ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work after being sentenced for smashing tiles placed on the Beacon of Hope.

Alanzi, of Liffey Avenue, Wythenshawe, admitted a charge of criminal damage at an earlier hearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court, and was also ordered to pay £200 compensation and £85 costs today.

Magistrates ruled that the offence was not committed in hostility to people who were of a particular of sexual orientation.

The bench said they could not be satisfied that the incident would apply to Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act.

This allows the court to increase the sentence given to offenders, if deemed appropriate by magistrates.

For this to apply, it must be shown that the offender demonstrated hostility based on sexual orientation, before, after, or while committing the crime.

Two other men were due to go on trial on Tuesday, in relation to the same offence.

The Crown has offered no evidence against one man, and a warrant was issued for another who is due to appear in court next week.

Police were called to the area, in Sackville Gardens, at around 1.15am on Sunday, January 8, to reports that tribute tiles had been broken and photographs torn up.

In addition, photographs of the dead were also ripped up and burnt during the incident.

About £200 worth of damage is estimated to have been caused.

At a previous hearing, Alanzi’s lawyer said his client admitted drink had played its part in the offence, and that he is taking medication after suffering from depression.

The Beacon of Hope monument was built in Sackville Gardens in 2000.

It was designed by Warren Chapman and Jess Boyn-Daniel, and is thought to be the UK’s only permanent memorial for people living with, or who have lost their lives to HIV or AIDS.