By now you may be familiar with serial public urinator and anti-World War I activist Kelly Martin. She is the British woman who keeps desecrating a memorial to the one million men who died in the Battle of the Somme during World War I.
She recently had her day in court and the judge did not take kindly to her stance on the war that began one hundred and two years ago this November. But if you think his words to her were terse, you should hear what how she responds.
Back in April, Martin was arrested while peeing on a memorial to the British soldiers who died during the bloodiest battle in human history, while disgusted visitors watched, in horror, no doubt.
After that incident, she returned to the same spot while on bail in June and repeated her disapproval of the European monarchies that sent a generation into the meat grinder of trench warfare.
This time she was not only charged with public urination on a monument to a settled matter, but also two counts of assault, one for allegedly hurling a bottle at a paramedic responding to the scene, and one for rubbing her bare rump against his leg.
In his decision Judge John Lodge had the following to say about Ms. Martin’s behavior:
“Each of these offenses is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate. The two cases of outraging public decency involve urinating on a war memorial. Inevitably war memorials were constructed at the center of towns and villages so on a daily basis people could be reminded of the sacrifices made by people who died….What makes your case particularly bad is having been caught doing it one time when the nation was commemorating the worst battle of the First World War you were caught doing it again in the middle of the day.”
It is not clear if Judge Lodge was firmly a supporter of the conflict that reshaped Europe, or if he really does not view midday as an appropriate time to relieve oneself. What is clear is that he handed down a stern sentence: the unemployed mother of five is to spend seven months in jail for the four offenses.
As Ms. Martin was escorted out of the courtroom, she managed to get in the final words, telling the judge to “#$@& This!”
Her political outrage at a war that ended 98 years ago, with her nation victorious, seems about as relevant and focused on Paul Newman’s anti-tax attacks on parking meters in “Cool Hand Luke,” or pretty much any political injustice Homer Simpson or Nancy Spungen ever protested.
Perhaps being incarcerated for the next seven months will teach her a thing or two about speaking out against issues that just do not matter anymore. If not, Judge Lodge could always decide to deport her to Australia.
Then again, if “Mein Kampf” taught us anything, it is that a short term in prison can do wonders for someone’s historical perspective and creative writing skills.
How do you feel about this scourge of monuments in England? Should they keel-hull her? Share your thoughts with us here.