As I’m sure many readers will remember, in 2009 a Sheffield Hallam student was photographed urinating on the Barker’s Pool War Memorial.
He was later, quite rightly, sentenced to 250 hours’ community service.
He was young, drunk, and extremely foolish, but publicly expressed what I accept as sincere regret, and served the sentence given to him.
Steve Robinson, head of highway maintenance, who I take to be anadult, in a well-paid position of public responsibility, and who, one would hope, was not inebriated at the time, commented on the same day The Star made an enquiry regarding the proposed removal of a tree planted to commemorate the sacrifice of British soldiers in the First World War, and I quote: “It makes no difference – we’re not giving any special treatment to any nonsense like this” and “If someone has bought the tree, if someone has planted it because of a family bereavement, all that, we’re not interested.”
Despite the student’s desecration, the Barkers Pool war memorial still stands and remains a focus for the grateful respect by the citizens of Sheffield for the city’s fallen sons and daughters.
Mr Robinson would appear to be “not interested” in any such, as would appear to be his opinion, historical trivialities as the deaths of the 5,000 Sheffielders who perished in the Great War, or the many thousands maimed or scarred during their service to the country.
Should that student have decided to fell this tree in his drunken reverie, rather than urinating on the war memorial as he did, I’m sure readers would agree that he should have received punishment to at least the same degree.
What punishment awaits Steve Robinson for his casual disregard I wonder?
As a minimum, I would suggest, he should resign. Rather, should we expect him to have the disingenuous gall to wear a poppy on Remembrance day?
Edgedale Road, Carterknowle, Sheffield