Veterans give memorial outrage woman a 'guard of dishonour'

A WOMAN branded "Britain's most disgusting person" for urinating on a war memorial has gone on the run after fleeing court.

Wendy Lewis, 32, was given a "guard of dishonour" by angry war veterans at whom she swore when she arrived at Blackpool Magistrates' Court yesterday.

But she fled the building 20 minutes later and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

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Lewis had been caught on CCTV relieving herself on a war memorial in the town before performing a sex act on a man in public.

She was found guilty of outraging public decency at an earlier hearing and was due to be sentenced yesterday, where a community service order was expected as punishment.

But Lewis, who arrived 40 minutes late for her 9.30am court appointment, promptly disappeared 20 minutes later before her case was called into court.

Veterans waited until 3.40pm for her case to be dealt with, when a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Earlier, Lewis, of Princess Street, Blackpool, ran the gauntlet of angry old soldiers when she arrived.

She covered her face with a hood and lashed out at photographers and TV crews as she walked to the court building

A handful of veterans, proudly wearing berets and campaign medals on their blazers lined the court steps to form the "guard of dishonour".

They clapped and shouted, "Disgusting!" as she entered the building to which Lewis' response was to swear at them.

Among them was former Royal Marine James Baker, 88, who served with 544 Assault Brigade and won the Distinguished Service Medal.

As an 18-year-old his unit of 38 Marines were the first on to Juno Beach on D-Day as a leading party for Canadian troops.

Badly wounded, only he and one other Marine made it off the beach alive, on a day he described as: "Not very pleasant at all."

Mr Baker, supported by a walking stick, said: "In both World Wars the young men, and women, have honoured their country and done their duty, that's all, done their duty.

"And this female, I nearly called her a lady, has disgraced her sex.

"It is unforgivable what she did in the face of these dead men.

"It can be neither forgiven nor forgotten by the ex-services' community and the wider community as well.

"We are more disgusted than anything else."

Mr Baker, who served in the police and fire service following the war, added: "There doesn't seem to be any real punishment for it.

"If she had expressed remorse, and meant it, we could forgive then, if not forget. But I'm sorry, she is just beyond the pale.

"I feel, not vindictive, but I do feel she deserves at least a short custodial sentence to impress upon her the error of her ways."

Don Aiken, 85, served from 1943 to 1947 and was also on the beaches on D-Day in the Reconnaissance Corps.

Mr Aiken said: "We have all come today to show our disgust at the actions of this woman on the (memorial], which is sacred to ex-servicemen personally because it holds the names of so many of our comrades who died in two world wars to defend the freedom of our nation."

Mr Aiken was present in court at the last hearing when the 30-minute CCTV recording was shown.

"I could not believe what I was seeing," he added. "This woman was so blatantly urinating on a place so precious to ourselves."

Outside court Major Jim Houldsworth, 68, of the Royal Artillery, who is also vice-chairman of the Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee said: "It just shows the same contempt for the veterans that she shows for the court."

Derrick Wyeld, 87, who served from 1941 to 1946 as aircrew on Lancaster Bombers with 460 Squadron of the Australian RAF said: "She is clearly a cowardly person who can't face her accusers."

He said they felt the memorial represented the gravestones of the people who were left behind.

"Fifty-five per cent of RAF crew were killed in the war and thousands of them have no known grave. These sort of things are their memorials."