LONDON: A man has admitted vandalizing a memorial to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing of 2017.
Anwar Hosseni, 24, caused £10,000 ($13,000) worth of criminal damage to the tribute, a white marble halo inscribed with the names of all 22 victims.
Hosseni vandalized the memorial on Feb. 9, just weeks before it was due to open, by scratching white lines across the monument.
Manchester City Council said the damage was “minor” at the time, but Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was killed in the bombing, said the perpetrator must have “dark hearts to do such a thing.”
Murray said the monument, called Glade of Light, was important not just to the families of the victims, but also to everyone psychologically or physically injured by the bomb.
Hosseni’s case has been passed up to Manchester’s crown court, with local magistrates saying that it was out of their jurisdiction. He will appear in court on May 4 but has strict bail conditions preventing him from visiting the scene of the crime.
Terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb packed with nails at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.
The monument was designed as a living memorial. It was created with flowers from throughout Britain, so it would change with the seasons. The white flowers of a hawthorn tree in the monument would blossom around the time of the anniversary of the attack.
The memorial is set to officially open ahead of the fifth anniversary of the terror attack, with a local choir performing.