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P.E.I. man who urinated on Sir John A. Macdonald statue sentenced

Timothy Austin Molyneaux, 23, was given a conditional discharge Thursday for his part in toppling this statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Charlottetown. - Garth Hurley/Special to The Guardian
Sacha Ridgway Luthermann was given a conditional discharge on Oct. 29, 2020 for his part in damaging this statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Charlottetown. - Garth Hurley/Special to The Guardian - Contributed
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A P.E.I. man who urinated on a bronze statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Charlottetown was given a conditional discharge Thursday.

Sacha Ridgway Luthermann, 21, appeared before Judge Jeff Lantz in provincial court in Charlottetown where he pleaded guilty to one count of mischief.

Crown attorney Jeff MacDonald told the court that on Sept. 7, Charlottetown police were dispatched after a report of two males damaging the statue.

The court heard the police found both men and arrested them.

Luthermann was held in custody overnight, and the court heard security video showed him urinating on the statue and pouring beer on it.

Lantz previously gave Timothy Austin Molyneaux, 23, a conditional discharge and community service for his role in damaging the statue.

Molyneaux told police he pulled the statue down because of what it stood for.

The men’s actions caused $318.97 in damage.

Sir John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first prime minister, and a bronze statue of him sits on a bench at the corner of Queen Street and Victoria Row.

There is a plaque with information about the former prime minister’s personal history and his role in Confederation next to the statue.

That plaque doesn’t mention the part he played in the creation of Canada’s residential school system, which separated Indigenous children from their parents and led to widespread abuse.

Some people have called for the statue’s removal, but the City of Charlottetown has decided to keep it where it is.

The September incident wasn’t the first time someone vandalized the statue. In June, someone threw red paint on it requiring sand blasting to clean it at a cost of more than $1,200.

On Thursday, defence lawyer Justin Milne said intoxication was a significant factor in Luthermann’s actions, and it was an isolated incident.

Milne said Luthermann wrote an apology letter to the city officials who had to clean up the statue.

Luthermann offers no excuses, he regrets his actions and accepts responsibility, Milne said.

In sentencing Luthermann, Lantz said he didn’t think a conditional discharge was contrary to the public interest and the incident could probably be classified as a “stupid mistake".

With the conditional discharge, Luthermann will be on probation for one year and he must pay $160 in restitution along with a $100 victim surcharge.

Ryan Ross is the justice reporter for The Guardian.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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