A drunken retiree who served beer and left cigarettes at an Anzac Day memorial says he was honoring his veteran grandfather
- A man has confronted the court over the drunken disfigurement of a Sydney World War I memorial
- Gregory Akerstrom says he was paying his respects to his late grandfather
- He was seen spilling beer on the statue, in addition to putting cigarettes in his rifle
Alex Chapman for Daily Mail Australia
A man who drank drunken beer at an Anzac memorial told a Sydney court that the strange act was a tribute to his veteran grandfather.
Gregory Akerstrom, 43, very intoxicated, was arrested in August after police caught him pouring beer at the war memorial at Martin Place.
He was also seen putting a wreath of flowers on the hand of the statue, a cigarette lighter on his arm and a smoke on his rifle, before dancing in a puddle of beer.
On Wednesday, in front of the Downing Center District Court in Sydney, Akerstrom pleaded guilty to tampering with a monument to the fallen, saying he intended to honor his grandfather.
A drunk pensioner was arrested after defacing a monument to the Sydney war in the city center (pictured)
In court, Akerstrom's defense attorney argued that the exhibition was a misguided effort to pay homage to his late grandfather, The Daily Telegraph reported.
They heard that the late grandfather of Akerstrom was a World War I veteran who served in the Light Horse brigade.
"He was simply showing his interpretation of respect," said his lawyer.
The court was told that Akerstrom was schizophrenic in the Disability Aid Pension.
In pronouncing a trial, Judge Katherine Thompson said that, although she understood that she did not know the offense she was causing, defacing a monument to the fallen is "a very serious affront to the dignity of those who serve."
Akerstrom was convicted and fined $ 300, but told reporters outside the court that he did not want to hurt.
He was caught pouring beer into the statue, putting a cigarette in the barrel of his rifle, a lighter in his arm and a wreath of flowers in his hand, before dancing in a puddle of beer