Man fined £65 for disrupting Bristol's Remembrance Sunday parade
A MAN who disrupted Bristol's Remembrance Sunday parade has been fined just £65.
Paulo Da Silveira infuriated veterans and others who had gone to the ceremony on November 11 when he skateboarded past marching troops wearing a garish pink outfit and horns.
Roger Duddridge, vice chairman of the Bristol and Somerset Royal British Legion, said the punishment was typical of the British justice system.
He told The Post: "I can show you cases I picked off the internet.
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"One is someone being fined £50 for burning a Union Jack, in another someone desecrating a church and only gets a fine of about £80. It's just the way the British justice system seems to work."
Da Silveira was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge at Bristol Magistrates' Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to a public order offence.
After the case he told The Post he was "sincerely sorry" for any distress he had caused by his actions.
The 38-year-old, who wore lipstick, mascara, a turquoise corset, blue and black stockings, pink shorts and white gloves for the hearing, said the first he knew of his offence was when he saw pictures of himself in print.
"I just found myself in the middle of things and didn't really know what was going on," Da Silveira, of Somerset House, Lawfords Gate, said.
"I just wanted to go to College Green to skateboard. I came down Nelson Street and I don't remember seeing any barriers and no one stopped me going through.
"It was only when I saw police that I realised I was amongst the parade. I remember people being aggressive but I had no intention of provoking anyone or protesting at all.
"I am just sincerely sorry for any distress I have caused."
Mr Duddridge was pleased Da Silveira had at least apologised.
"He upset a lot of ex-service people by what he did but the fact that he has claimed it was not a protest and has apologised I hope will soften the blow they suffered," said Mr Duddridge. "I am glad he has had some punishment because it will hopefully make other people think.
"If someone admits they are wrong they should be forgiven, providing they don't do it again. If he does, the book should be thrown at him."
Da Silveira had earlier admitted engaging in behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
May Li, prosecuting, said "a large number of people" had been at the ceremony when the skateboarder appeared.
"He was wearing a horned helmet, red corset, a set of pink frilly knickers, striped tights and a red and blue face mask," she said. "He skated alongside the bands and then through the police cordon towards the Cenotaph, causing distress to members of the public.
"They could be seen reacting strongly to his actions. He was stopped by a special constable. There was a struggle and he was arrested."
John Roberts, defending, said Da Silveira had mental health issues.
Mr Roberts said: "My client apologises unreservedly for any offence he may have caused to anybody. As far as he is concerned, it was not any form of protest.
"His care package had come to an end in August and he was not taking any medication. He dresses eccentrically and his intention was to go to College Green but he seems to have got into the cordon.
"He says he was in a world of his own. He didn't take in his surroundings and that he had caused serious offence to a number of people.
"When he was arrested there were threats of violence towards him."