Man pleads guilty to vandalising Cenotaph war memorial, sentencing on Aug 26

The Cenotaph, a war memorial at Esplanade Park which was vandalised by a man on Apr 23 2013. A security guard pleaded guilty on Monday to vandalising the Cenotaph War Monument by using a can of spray paint to write the word "DEMOCRACY'' and to mark a
The Cenotaph, a war memorial at Esplanade Park which was vandalised by a man on Apr 23 2013. A security guard pleaded guilty on Monday to vandalising the Cenotaph War Monument by using a can of spray paint to write the word "DEMOCRACY'' and to mark an "X'' on it. -- FILE PHOTO: STOMP

A security guard pleaded guilty on Monday to vandalising the Cenotaph War Monument by using a can of spray paint to write the word "DEMOCRACY'' and to mark an "X'' on it.

Mohamad Khalid Mohamad Yusop, 33, committed the offence at the Esplanade Park at Connaught Drive at about 11.10pm on April 23.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wee Hao said on his day off, Khalid left home with a can of indelible red spray paint to use it to spray an "X'' at a location that could be seen by the public. He targeted the Cenotaph War Memorial by spraying an "X'' over the dates 1914-1918 on the wall followed by the word "DEMOCRACY'' on top of the "X''.

A couple were walking towards the Padang from the Esplanade when they saw Khalid crossing the road and climbing up the stairs to the Cenotaph. They saw him committing the act. When the man confronted Khalid and asked what he was doing, Khalid replied it was art. He also said it was a "revolution''.

After leaving the scene, Khalid threw the spray can into the river near the Esplanade.

He was arrested four days later. The cost of repair of the Cenotaph is $208.

His lawyer Choo Zheng Xi said Khalid was deeply remorseful for his offence and was apologetic for his foolish, grave and insensitive act. "He wishes in open court through counsel to apologise unreservedly to all the war dead and humbly also seeks forgiveness from all Singaporeans for his unthinking actions,'' he said.

Khalid will be sentenced on Aug 26. He could be jailed for up to three years and receive between three and eight strokes of the cane.