A DRUNK teenager has been hit with a fine after provoking outrage by urinating on a Tyneside war memorial.
Douglas Tullin was branded "abominable" after he was seen by a restaurant worker relieving himself on the cenotaph on Old Eldon Square, near Monument, Newcastle.
The 19-year-old – who was then seen to drink a can of Stella before throwing it behind him on the grass – was hauled before Newcastle magistrates following the incident on July 13.
But his actions have been met with anger by representatives of the Armed Forces after he escaped with a £50 fine.
Jeff Banning, chairman of the Royal British Legion club in Jesmond, Newcastle, said: “This is totally disloyal to the whole history and future of the military.
“I find it abominable, especially as we have campaigns going on.
“I don’t know what drives people to do that.
“It grossly offends me when a person gives their life for their country and then someone does something like this on their honourable memory. But I don’t want this to tarnish the reputation of all young people.”
A spokeswoman from the War Memorial Trust said: “Obviously we are very disappointed to hear about these kind of things happening.
“As a trust we encourage people to cherish their war memorials and treat them with respect.”
Clive Freemantle, prosecuting, told Newcastle Magistrates’ Court how a worker at Nando’s restaurant was so disgusted by what he saw that he rang the police.
He said: “The witness was shocked by what he had seen.
“He said in a statement ‘I was very angry at what had happened’.”
Wearing white shorts and a dark grey hooded jumper, Tullin, who pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly, apologised for his actions.
The teenager, who was not represented during the hearing, said: “I’m sorry about what happened but I am trying to better myself.
“I hope things like that are in the past.
“It was a shameful thing to do.”
Tullin, of Oban Gardens, Byker, Newcastle, told the court that he had referred himself to an alcohol treatment centre three weeks ago.
Magistrates fined Tullin £50 as well as ordering him to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £20 towards prosecution costs.
The conviction comes as Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Police have teamed up to launch a crackdown on trouble-makers in Old Eldon Square.
Both organisations have received a string of complaints about locals feeling scared to walk through the square, as well as problems like littering, graffiti and dangerous skateboarding.
Coun Anita Lower, chairwoman of Safe Newcastle, a partnership of police, council and other agencies, said: “We have had a number of complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour, people feeling intimidated, the grass being damaged and the war memorial being treated disrespectfully.
“That is why we decided we had to take action, starting with more robust grass being laid. In the meantime the area has been fenced-off.
“Aside from that, we will be monitoring the area and working with police to tackle any incidents that arise.”
Insp Paul Hamilton, who covers Newcastle city centre, said: “We have increased patrols around the area and are working closely with the council to ensure the whole square, and the monument in particular, are treated with respect.
“We will crack down on any form of anti-social behaviour because we want that part of the city to be somewhere that can be enjoyed by everyone.”