Man being arrested after Salford Remembrance sunday event
UK

Man Jailed For 16 Weeks After Setting Off Fireworks At Remembrance Event

Stuart Potts let off two fireworks as the Last Post ended and hundreds of people stood observing a two-minute silence in Salford on Sunday.

Man being arrested after Salford Remembrance sunday event

(Picture: PA).

A man has been jailed for 16 weeks after he set off fireworks at a Remembrance Sunday event.

Stuart Potts let off two fireworks as the Last Post ended and hundreds of people stood observing a two-minute silence for the war dead at the cenotaph in Eccles, Salford, on Sunday.

Mr Potts fired the fireworks while sat on the ledge of a first-floor window of a disused pub being used by squatters.

A crowd of angry veterans soon gathered outside the pub window shouting: "Get him out," and trying to break the door of the pub down, with others attempting to climb up to the window.

A lone police officer stood blocking the door shouting into his police radio as he struggled to hold the crowd back from getting inside, before reinforcements arrived.

When Mr Potts, from Borough Road, Salford, appeared at the window to remonstrate with the crowd, a number of traffic cones were launched at him before he retreated back inside.

Police reinforcements soon arrived and Potts was bundled into a police car.

The 38-year-old pleaded guilty on Monday at Manchester Magistrates' Court to one count of throwing a firework in a public place and a public order offence.

He claimed he was given the firework by someone else and lit it "as a mark of respect" to emulate the volley of shots fired at some Remembrance Day events.

Jailing him for 16 weeks, District Judge Mark Hadfield said he did not believe Mr Potts' story.

He added: "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."

Abigail Henry, mitigating, said Potts, who has 21 previous convictions for 39 offences, had shown "sincere and genuine remorse for his actions".

She added: "He wishes, through me, to apologise to those present at the service or any wider members of the community who may have been affected by his actions yesterday."

Prosecutor Beth Pilling told the court Mr Potts fired two fireworks, the first resulting in loud bangs and a second, a rocket which flew 15 feet above the heads of the 300-strong crowd at the event.