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Man charged with setting off fireworks during Remembrance silence


A homeless man who disrupted a Remembrance Sunday minute’s silence by launching a fireworkwas led away by police for his own safety after furious members of the public and veterans surrounded the man.

He has now been pleaded guilty at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court today to one count of throwing a firework in a public place and a public order offence at Manchester Magistrates’ Court today.

As the Last Post played and hundreds of people stood in silence to pay their respects at 11am at the cenotaph in Eccles, Salford, however, this was interrupted by a series of fireworks being set off.

The fireworks seemed to have been launched by Stuart Potts, aged 38, a member of a group of squatters, who threw them from the first-floor window of the disused Albert Edward pub across the road from the cenotaph.

Dressed in army-style clothing, the father-of-four showed up at the window to exchange insults with the furious veterans and mourners who had gathered below.

The crowd attempted to get into the door of the pub as one lone police officer blocked the door calling for back up on his police radio as he struggled to hold the crowd back.

A number of traffic cones were launched at the man, forcing him to retreat back inside the pub.

Police arrived at the scene and the man, believed to be Mr Potts according to local residents, was handcuffed with his head held down and taken out of the building and put into a police car that quickly sped away.

One woman said: “Safe to say I am disgusted! Got to the cenotaph to pay respect for all those who fought for us and gave us the freedom we have today.

“From those who fought in the world wars to those who fought like my dad and those still fighting today, for it to be completely ruined by people firing fireworks into the crowd showering members of the public with embers and sparks from the fireworks.

“Dogs have been left petrified and the Eccles community in shock, very disappointed and let down by people’s lack of respect and disregarded for people’s safety and feelings towards such a sentimental day.”

A former Royal Marine told the court the fireworks ‘affected his post-traumatic stress disorder’ and said Potts’ actions were ‘the most disrespectful thing he had witnessed at such an event.’