Excuses, excuses...

‘I was drunk,’ says vandal who burned photos of victims at HIV/AIDS memorial

Alaa Alanzi says he was drunk when he went on a destructive rampage of an HIV/AIDS memorial in Manchester’s Gay Village.

The incident happened back in January. 23-year-old Alanzi broke several tiles and ripped up and burned photographs of the dead during a drunken fit of rage at the Beacon of Hope. This week, a judge has ordered he complete 160 hours of community service and pay £285 ($370 U.S.) after pleading guilty to criminal damage.

Alanzi’s lawyer maintains that his client did not commit the act out of antigay animus, but that his judgment was impaired due to alcohol. The lawyer also said that since the incident, Alanzi has begun taking medication for depression.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Beacon of Hope monument was erected in Sackville Gardens back in 2000 and was designed by Warren Chapman and Jess Boyn-Daniel and sits overlooking Canal Street, Manchester’s main gay area. It is the U.K.’s only permanent memorial for people living with, or who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.

Two other men who were with Alanzi at the time are due to go on trial next week.

Related: Vandal Fails Miserably At Writing Homophobic Slur On Gay Couple’s Car

h/t: The Mirror

Photo credit: Jordan Sinclair