Wigan lout who desecrated war memorial is jailed

Rosbotham caught on film as he throws the wreath
Rosbotham caught on film as he throws the wreath

A lout who caused widespread outrage when filmed flinging a war memorial wreath into the road has been sent to prison for 14 months.

But Peter Rosbotham’s jail term was in fact imposed for an earlier incident when he threatened a young mum with a can opener.

Rosbotham reaches over the railings for the wreath

Rosbotham reaches over the railings for the wreath

The 54-year-old, of Silverdale Avenue, Ince, had been due to stand trial at Bolton Crown Court for issuing threats with a bladed article and criminal damage.

But he changed his pleas to guilty after the prosecution accepted a lesser charge of possession of a bladed article.

A bus passenger captured Rosbotham on her phone’s camera from a bus as he was seen lurching around the street near to the war memorial at Ince Bar before reaching over the railings, picking up a poppy wreath to fallen soldiers and throwing it into the road.

The hearing was told that later he was in the McDonald’s eatery on Standishgate being abusive to customers.

A woman, who had her baby with her, challenged him about his behaviour and it was at this point that he pulled out a can opener from his pocket, causing the victim fear that he was going to attack her.

For the blade incident Rosbotham was given 14 months in custody.

Because punishment for the criminal damage to the wreath would not have added substantially to the sentence, it was allowed to lie on file.

But the Ince incident did provoke strong reactions at the time.

Wigan councillor John Hilton, who is a member of the Royal British Legion, said: “I am disgusted with this.

“People like this beggar belief.

“We have some of the nicest cenotaphs and memorials here in Wigan.”

And Captain Jimmy Aspinall from Wigan’s Army Reserve Centre had also condemned the incident in a similar way.

But on hearing the details of the case and reflecting since he was in a more concilliatory mood.

Capt Aspinall said: “This man clearly has problems.

“More money needs to spent on guys like this by the Government and the authorities to help them.”

Rosbotham was also hit with a restraining order preventing him from entering the Standishgate McDonald’s for 18 months.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the can opener.