Jewish graves were desecrated with Nazi emblems. Photo /
A young man who helped his friend spray-paint swastikas
and other graffiti on Jewish graves at a central Auckland
cemetery has lost an appeal against his conviction.
Englishman Christian Landmark, 21, was last year found guilty
of an intentional damage charge over the desecration of the
Symonds St cemetery graves in October 2012.
In an appeal heard at the High Court in Auckland earlier this
year, Landmark contended that while he was present and took
photos of his former friend Robert Moulden carrying out the
damage, he did not paint any of the graves himself.
Landmark tried to sell his photos to the news media.
During Landmark's district court hearing last year, Moulden
said he did most of the defacing but Landmark had undertaken
some also. Landmark's appeal lawyer Tudor Clee argued
Moulden's evidence was unreliable.
Mr Clee said Moulden was out for revenge after Landmark sent
his photos to the media, showing Moulden defacing the graves.
But in his appeal ruling, released to APNZ, Justice Patrick
Keane ruled that Landmark was guilty of the charge whether he
spray painted or not.
"He documented the desecration of the cemetery. He shared
with Mr Moulden in the fullest sense responsibility for its
desecration. Whether he himself also defaced some headstones
is incidental," Justice Keane said.
Landmark did not appeal against his sentence of having to pay
$3000 reparation, which the judge said was less than Moulden,
who was ordered to pay reparation and undertake community
work and supervision.
"It was a fraction of the cost to the Jewish community in
their attempt to restore to something like their former state
historic headstones, which had stood in the cemetery for in
excess of 100 years and were already fragile," Justice Keane
He also agreed with the district court judge that text
messages sent to and from Landmark pointed toward his guilt.
One friend, "Digity", texted: "Saw your handiwork (sic) on
the filthy jew cemetery it made the news."
Landmark replied: "Lmfao [laughing my f***ing ass off] which
news lol [laugh out loud]."
Police have said the total cost of the damage was more than
- By Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ