The boyfriend of a woman who urinated on a war memorial has sparked further anger after giving a Nazi salute as she walked free from court.
Wendy Lewis was labelled Britain’s ‘most disgusting woman’ by veterans after CCTV footage caught her urinating on the cenotaph at Blackpool.
Lewis, 32, was originally due to be sentenced last week but fled after being confronted by a group of ex-servicemen who vented their anger by slow-handclapping and shouting ‘disgusting.’
After three days at large, police arrested Lewis on Tuesday morning and she was finally hauled before magistrates.
And after she escaped jail Lewis’s boyfriend Frank McKenzie managed to further offend the former soldiers by performing a Nazi salute and yelling pro-IRA abuse at them.
Sentencing Lewis at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court to 15 weeks’ jail, suspended for a year, deputy district judge Roger Lowe told her that he had spared her custody to allow her to get help for her drink and drug problems.
The veterans attended court again yesterday to see the mother-of-two brought to justice.
Lewis, of Princess Street, Blackpool, faced further disgrace. The former heroin addict, who was found guilty of outraging public decency at an earlier hearing, also pleaded guilty to assaulting the female police officer who arrested her.
Lewis hurled abuse at Pc Emma Halliwell and kicked her twice, striking the officer’s shin and her thigh.
The judge told her: ‘You are a young woman. You don’t remember the First World War and the Second World War. There are people in this room who do.
‘You have got the right to do whatever you want, think whatever you want and say whatever you want. Those rights were won by people who fought for us and died for us.
‘The memorial in this town remembers the people who gave their lives for values which we hold so dear.
‘When you urinated on the memorial you desecrated on their memory. You brought shame on yourself and you brought shame on the town.’
Lewis, wearing a pink hooded top and white jacket, nodded as she was sentenced to 12 weeks for outraging public decency. A three-week sentence for the assault of Pc Halliwell was suspended for 12 months.
She was also ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation programme and pay £200 in costs and £50 in compensation to Pc Halliwell.
The court was told that Pc Halliwell was attacked by Lewis after she and a colleague tracked her down at a friend’s home.
Pam Smith, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant was being aggressive and she kicked out, striking Pc Halliwell suddenly in the leg.
‘She was calmed down for a period but later became abusive in custody.
In mitigation, Mr Allan Cobain said Lewis would forever be known as ‘that woman from the Cenotaph’. He described the incident as ‘beyond the pale’, but said it was the result of a ‘severe’ drink and drug problem.
‘Wendy Lewis could be viewed as a tragic figure who has to be pitied as much as pilloried, he added. ‘With help, she may be able to get her life back on track.’
Lewis was dubbed ‘Britain’s most disgusting person’ by Ian Coleman, who has been president of the Blackpool Royal British Legion for 24 years, after her court appearance on Friday.
‘This woman is the most disgusting person in the country,’ he said. ‘The names on the cenotaph are those of people that have given us all our freedom.’
After yesterday’s sentencing, Mr Coleman said: ‘War memorials up and down the country are being desecrated. It seems the perpetrators just get a slap on the wrist and possibly stronger laws have to be implemented to have a deterrent to stop these people defiling this sacred ground.’
He suggested those who disrespect war memorials should be made to clean them up and added: “I wouldn’t want to see anybody put in prison. But that memorial is sacrosanct and we do need a deterrent.’
Lewis, who is believed to be living on benefits, was arrested in June after the CCTV operators spotted her relieving herself next to poppy wreaths on the top step of the cenotaph near the North Pier, which is inscribed with the names of soldiers who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
At a previous hearing, magistrates were shown footage of the incident. Lewis, with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, could clearly be seen pulling down her jeans while cyclists and members of the public passed by.
Pc Jamie Robinson told the court on Friday: ‘It was 5am when I and a colleague were sent to the war memorial. When I arrived I saw a male with scraggly hair and a female I recognised as Wendy Lewis.’
She admitted urinating on the cenotaph and initially denied committing the sex act, but later confessed and apologised.
David Charnley, defending, said: ‘She had been drinking but now realises how much offence she has caused the public and what she has done.’
Derrick Wyeld, 87, who served from 1941 to 1946 on Lancaster bombers with the Australian RAF, said: ‘She is clearly a cowardly person who can’t face her accusers.
‘Fifty-five per cent of RAF crew were killed in the war and thousands of them have no known grave. The cenotaph represents the gravestones of the people who were left behind. It is their memorial.’
D-Day veteran James Baker, 88, was one of only two men from his Army unit to survive the 1944 landings and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
‘This woman is a disgrace to her sex,’ he said. ‘She insulted the good name of every soldier named on that memorial. They died for their country so people like this woman could live in freedom. It is unforgivable what she did in the face of these dead men. Some of them never saw 18.’
Major Jim Houldsworth, 68, who served with the Royal Artillery for 25 years, said: ‘She has showed the same contempt for the veterans that she showed for the court. What she did is an insult to everybody named on that cenotaph and their family. We need to send out a message that this is totally unacceptable.’