A man was caught defacing the Cenotaph in Watts Park on this afternoon on Friday 25 November .
Shortly after 15:00, a Southampton Solent University student spotted a man vandalising the Cenotaph whilst walking through Watts Park. According to the student, the man was ”shouting things about the devil and was throwing and kicking the poppies” laid on the First World War Memorial. The shocking incident comes less than two weeks after Remembrance Sunday. The student reported that a passer-by, who also witnessed the incident, intervened and hit the man over the head with his skateboard. A community officer was also reportedly present at the scene. The student took a video recording of the incident as evidence and informed the police.
Hampshire police have now confirmed that a 29-year old man was arrested following the incident. The arrest was made yesterday, Saturday 26 November, and the man has now been detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act 1983. He has been bailed until 19 January while investigations continue.
The student who witnessed the incident commented:
‘I was in shock but obviously was too scared to confront him as I didn’t know what his reaction would be so I recorded it so I could show the police and the world what he was doing’.
Please contact the police on 101 and quote the crime reference number 44160445628 if you have any information about the incident.
The Wessex Scene will keep you updated as this story develops.