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Cemetery vandals jailed

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-03-06

Derby cemetery

Derby cemetery

Two men including one who had an "unhealthy interest" in Adolf Hitler and the Nazis have been jailed for three years for desecrating 36 Jewish gravestones at a Derby cemetery in March 2006.

The two, Daniel Coleman, 23 and Richard Fallows, also 23, caused £30,000 of damage to the gravestones which saw headstones pushed over and smashed.

Despite the attack on the Jewish graves, both men denied they were anti-Semitic and were previously cleared of religiously aggravated criminal damage.

When police searched Coleman's home in Alvaston, they found far right and Hitler DVDs and books. Coleman claimed they were part of his studies for a University course.

In sentencing the pair, Judge Andrew Hamilton said: "Anything less than a substantial prison sentence and there would be a public outcry. What you did on this night was the most serious desecration of a cemetery."

Jewish community groups welcomed the sentence and jailing of Coleman and Fallows. "This was a particularly cowardly crime and we welcome the conviction of these two men," said Community Security trust director of communications Mark Gardner.