Student, 19, who twice defaced statue of Lord Nelson to 'start a debate' about slavery is spared jail

A student who twice vandalised a statue of Lord Nelson prompted fresh outrage yesterday as she walked free from court.
Jae Ikhera, 19, had sprayed a ‘V for Vendetta’ anarchist symbol and blacked out the face of the national hero.
She returned three nights later and daubed the word ‘Down’ on the plinth in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, citing Nelson’s alleged links to slavery.
The teenager pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage for the offences – which happened a month after Black Lives Matter protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.
She was given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates in the city and was not made to pay any compensation for cleaning the statue or costs.
Jae Ikhera, 19, had sprayed a ‘V for Vendetta’ anarchist symbol and blacked out the face of the national hero (pictured). She returned three nights later and daubed the word ‘Down’ on the plinth in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, citing Nelson’s alleged links to slavery
Jae Ikhera, 19, had sprayed a ‘V for Vendetta’ anarchist symbol and blacked out the face of the national hero (pictured). She returned three nights later and daubed the word ‘Down’ on the plinth in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, citing Nelson’s alleged links to slavery
The Save Our Statues campaign group criticised the lenient sentence, saying: ‘Thanks to our legal system for handing another victory to the mob.’
Ikhera yesterday remained unrepentant about her actions, or worried about a sentence, when approached by the Mail.
She said: ‘I wasn’t really frightened all that much. I knew it was going to end one of two ways but to me that doesn’t really matter.

‘I’m not going to do anything illegal again but I’m not afraid to use my voice as I have one.’
Ikhera’s solicitor, Simon Nicholls, told the court on Friday she had carried out the attacks on July 4 and 7 to ‘start a debate’ about Nelson’s alleged links to slavery.
He said: ‘Even the cathedral said, “Although a national hero [Lord Nelson] was like all of us, flawed in some ways”.’
The defendant added she acted because the victor of Trafalgar was treated as ‘a hero and an idol’ without people ‘having knowledge of his other ideas’.
She said: ‘We can still be heroes and have these ideas but if you don’t acknowledge all the issues you are just taking that out of context.’
Ikhera’s solicitor, Simon Nicholls, told the court on Friday she had carried out the attacks on July 4 and 7 to ‘start a debate’ about Nelson’s alleged links to slavery. Pictured, Ikhera wrote 'down' on the plinth and crossed out Nelson's name
Ikhera’s solicitor, Simon Nicholls, told the court on Friday she had carried out the attacks on July 4 and 7 to ‘start a debate’ about Nelson’s alleged links to slavery. Pictured, Ikhera wrote 'down' on the plinth and crossed out Nelson's name
Ikhera said Nelson had close ties with slave trader Simon Taylor and his wealthy family would have benefited from it.
Her comments echo the Topple The Racists campaign group, which describes Nelson as a ‘known white supremacist’ and have called for all statues dedicated to him to be pulled down.
Norfolk is known as ‘Nelson’s County’ after the admiral, who was born in Burnham Thorpe in 1758 and died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Experts deny claims he opposed the abolition of slavery and have pointed out he did not own any slaves himself.
The Nelson Society said he would have ‘vigorously’ applied the law when the slave trade was outlawed in Britain in 1807, as the Navy did.
Ikhera attends Norwich’s University of the Arts. A spokesman declined to comment on whether any action would be taken, but said: ‘NUA does not condone criminal damage.’
The Dean of Norwich Cathedral, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, said: ‘The dean and chapter are committed to reviewing the place of historical figures memorialised in the cathedral and in our grounds and to hosting conversations about what we have to learn from past wrongs.’ 
Student, 19, who twice defaced statue of Lord Nelson to 'start a debate' about slavery is spared jail Student, 19, who twice defaced statue of Lord Nelson to 'start a debate' about slavery is spared jail Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:15 Rating: 5

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