Man accused of descrating Jewish graves pleads innocence.

January 22, 2013 by Henry Benjamin
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A man accused of desecrating Jewish graves in Auckland appeared in court today, maintaining his plea of  not guilty to a charge of intentional damage .

Graves with slogans

Graves with slogans

Christian Landmark will appear in court again in June for a defended hearing following today’s appearance in the Auckland District court.

Last October, headstones in the city’s Symond Street Cemetery were daubed with swastikas and crude anti-Jewish slogans.

19-yr-old Robert Moulden whose case is still before the court, has pleaded guilty to his part in the daubings and has undergone a restorative justice program.

The cemetery land was gifted to the Jewish community in the 1860s by the local Maori tribe which was represented at Moulden’s program meeting.

Organisations participating in the program included the Auckland City Council, the Chevra Kadisha, the B’nai B’rith, the Auckland Jewish Council, and two descendants of the Ehrenfried family whose ancestors’ headstones were desecrated.

AJC president Geoff Levy told J-Wire: “The case is still before the court and Moulden will be sentenced late next month. He has shown remorse and is willing to help with repairs. But the headstones were very porous and the paint has penetrated deeply through the fragile stonework.”

Levy said that the cost of repair could be as high as $50,000.

Landmark, 20, has been charged with causing willful damage under the Crimes Act, a charge which  carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

Charges against a third person were dropped by the police.



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