Friday, July 22, 2011

Great to be a cop

NSW Officer guilty of peeing on war memorial gets off. A man who desecrated the cenotaph in London recently went to jail

A FEMALE police officer who urinated on a Sydney war memorial has escaped a conviction, despite a magistrate describing the offence as "vile and despicable".

Jessica Mary Lodge, a 29-year-old constable based at Redfern police station in the inner city, pleaded guilty at Downing Centre Local Court to urinating on the steps of the Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park, in the city's CBD, last month.

Magistrate Jane Culver, who described the offence as "vile and despicable", did not record a conviction against Lodge, but placed her on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

According to court documents, about 10.30pm on June 16, a security guard saw Lodge pull down her jeans and squat on the war memorial steps before urinating.

When the guard informed her she was under arrest, Lodge tried to leave the scene, saying: "I'm a police officer, just let me go, this will affect my career." Police arrived soon after to question the off-duty officer, who apologised and said she had been at a "half-yearly" function and just "needed to go to the toilet". An officer who attended the scene said Lodge appeared "moderately intoxicated", the police fact sheet tendered to the court said.

She was allowed to leave and the incident, which was captured on CCTV footage, was reported.

Lodge's lawyer, Patrick Conaghan, told the magistrate his client was unaware the Hyde Park structure was a war memorial. He also said her father had served in WWII.

Lodge had been charged with committing an offensive act.


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