It was said that Samuel Colt’s famed revolver was the great equalizer in that it put men on a comparable footing when it came to defending themselves. That wasn’t necessarily the case, however, unless one knew how to wield a weapon.
The real equalizer has always been and will always be alcohol, for if one imbibes enough one can sink to a level of idiocy on par with most any other Grade A souse.
Take Anthony Stallard of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who was fined for, among other things, pretending to be a ghost in a cemetery, according to The Guardian.
The unemployed 24-year-old had been out drinking with friends when they went to Kingston cemetery in Portsmouth, where they started to play soccer.
Witnesses reported the group then began engaging in rowdy behavior, with one – Stallard – throwing his arms in the air and saying “woooooo” within earshot of mourners visiting graves, according to a Hampshire police spokesman.
Stallard was fined £35 (nearly $60) and ordered to pay a £20 (nearly $35) victim surcharge and £20 in costs.
Stallard also had an extra three months added to a conditional charge for previous harassment which he was found to be in breach of, according to a Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman.
A charge of causing criminal damage to gravestones was dismissed.
Sure, some potted lout throwing his arms in the air and saying “woooooo” is good for a laugh, but the part about doing it while people visit the graves of family members and the damaging of gravestones is hardly funny.
As the photo above indicates, Kingston cemetery is filled with many old gravestones; just because Stallard is without self-respect doesn’t mean he should get away with disrespecting others, whether they be dead or living descendants of the dead.
Wreaking havoc in cemetery may seem to some a victimless crime, but the desecration of gravestones shows a very real contempt for society as a whole.
A more fitting punishment would have been to have Stallard repair damage done and spend weekends maintaining the graveyard. While unlikely, there’s always the chance he would have gained at least a small understanding of why cemeteries are held to be reverent and historic locales by many.
However, one suspects this won’t be Stallard’s last brush with the law, so it’s likely there will be future opportunities for a judge or judges to consider interesting sentences for this miscreant.
(Top: Kingston cemetery, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Photo credit: The Guardian.)