Condemnation of Hallam student, Laing

Philip Laing, the Sheffield Hallam student photographed urinating on the Barker’s Pool war memorial following a drunken binge, failed to turn up to court yesterday.

The 19-year-old Sport Technology student’s case was adjourned by District Judge Anthony Browne following an application from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Sheffield Magistrates’ court heard.

Angry residents gathered outside the court donning Poppies.

Inside, one man had to be restrained by five police officers and ejected from the building after shouting “is that fucker who pissed on our boys in court today? Them boys died for the British.”

Laing was photographed whilst on a Carnage bar crawl in Sheffield on Sunday, October 11.

Pictures of him urinating on the city centre war memorial opposite City Hall have sparked public outrage.

Thousands of people have voiced their anger on social networking websites, some demanding he be jailed and even killed.

In court one yesterday, prosecutor Iain Conway asked for a two week adjournment so the CPS could take a longer look at the case.

Neither Laing nor his counsel attended the hearing.

He is charged with outraging public decency.

Despite Laing being a Hallam student both the University of Sheffield and Union of Students were inundated with angry phone calls and emails.

Carnage’s organisers, Varsity Leisure Group Ltd, said they are not responsible for Laing’s actions.

Paul Scriven, leader of Sheffield city council, is calling for this weekend’s Carnage event to be cancelled.

“I don’t feel that we should step in and cancel the event, as I don’t think the council can legally do so. But I have written to the promoters and asked for this Sunday’s event to be cancelled due to the sensitivity about what happened last week.

“I think it’s important not to make a knee jerk reaction and look at things in proportion. This was one student, out of an event involving thousands.

“I want to work closely with both universities and if Carnage don’t act responsibly then I’ll be right on the case,” he said.

A joint statement from the University of Sheffield and its Union of Students has warned students about the effects of binge drinking and reminded them of their responsibilities.

“The University of Sheffield’s Regulations includes the expectation that students will not bring the University into disrepute, and to do so is a disciplinary matter.

“In dealing with cases of student misconduct, we are clear that alcohol will not be seen as a mitigating factor.

“The University and Union particularly deplore behaviour which undermines the positive reputation of the majority of students who make a valuable contribution to the city.

“We are committed to building good community relations and expect our students to behave responsibly, respect their neighbours and make an active contribution in their local area.

“A key concern for the University is the wellbeing of our students and both the Union and University provide a wide range of student support and welfare services.

“We also have an active programme of health promotion and continue to work together in a variety of ways to promote a responsible approach to alcohol.”

John Harrison, 48, who lives on Division street was outside the court hoping to confront Laing. He said: “My dad fought in the second world war and his mates died.

“This lad’s actions are disgusting and whilst I think he should serve time for this.”

Laing is required to attend court on Wednesday, November 4.


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