What you need to know:
- James Coleman, 18, and his accomplice, a minor, painted messages of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a Swastika and other racist comments.
- The Court’s Judge Recorder Stuart Driver said the graffiti was full of hatred and were offensive.
A British teenager who smeared racist graffiti on items at a memorial of a Kenyan boy in the UK was on Thursday sentenced to two years in jail.
James Coleman, 18, and his accomplice, a minor, had painted messages of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a Swastika and other racist comments on items at a function to honour Erick Maina, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
PRAISED THE DEAD
Erick, 15, had been found dead in the family home in Liverpool on November 15 but when his schoolmates gathered at their school for a memorial, Coleman sneaked in and daubed items at the ceremony with messages that praised the death.
Britain's Daily Mail newspaper reported that Coleman and his partner, a 17-year-old, scrawled the comments just hours after Erick Maina’s death. He praised ‘white power,’ KKK, painted swastikas and wrote the ‘N’ word.
KKK is an American racist group with roots in the 18th century that has continued to campaign for the ‘purification’ of the white race.
The Swastika, though considered a sacred symbol in Hinduism is, often associated with the murderous Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
The Daily Mail quoting court papers said he wrote: “Nothing better than a n***** dead.”
Maricourt headteacher Brendan McLoughlin had opened the school for pupils to sign a book of condolence while school friends also began their own tribute, posting flowers and notes on a fence on the site.
The teenager had previous convictions that included burglary and theft although the Police did not immediately link him to Erick’s death.
The Court’s Judge Recorder Stuart Driver said the graffiti was full of hatred and were offensive.
WRITTEN AN APOLOGY
“There was bigotry in every stroke of your brush. This was racism writ large; it was a public display of vile bitterness,” the British tabloid reported.
Erick’s father told the court the graffiti “was like rubbing salt in our open wounds.” It is understood that the culprit has since written an apology to Erick’s family.