STUART POTTS who ruined Eccles Remembrance Sunday two-minute silence by setting off fireworks has been jailed for 16 weeks.
Stuart Potts who let off two fireworks as the Last Post ended and hundreds of people stood observing the two-minute silence for the war dead at the Cenotaph in Eccles, Salford, on Sunday claims he was given the firework by someone else and lit it “as a mark of respect” to simulate the volley of shots fired at some Remembrance Day events.
District Judge Mark Hadfield said he did not believe Potts’ story adding: “I rather doubt that anybody in their right mind would think letting them off in the middle of that ceremony was a mark of respect.
“It shows a staggering lack of respect for those attending and those being remembered.”
The 38-year-old, wearing military-style camouflage fatigues, pleaded guilty on today (Monday) at Manchester Magistrates’ Court to one count of throwing a firework in a public place and a public order offence.
Potts has 21 previous convictions for 39 offences.
A statement was read out on behalf of a veteran who was at the event and who had served with the Royal Marines between 1965 and 1972 and then with Greater Manchester Police.
“I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) from my time in the forces. The PTSD is aggravated by loud bangs.
“I was blown up twice in the forces and in the police so find loud noises and bangs distressing.
“I was there to place a wooden cross for a friend killed in 1981.
“The occasion was ruined by the most disrespectful act I have ever witnessed at a Remembrance Day.
“I can’t understand why would do such an abominable act against a group of people like me who have or may have suffered like I have.