Man admits desecration of Jewish graves

04:42, Nov 13 2012
Robert Moulden
ROBERT MOULDEN: Pleaded guilty to a charge of intentional damage.

A man has admitted desecrating Jewish graves with crude slogans at an Auckland cemetery but his co-accused is maintaining his innocence.

Robert Moulden, 19, appeared at the Auckland District Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a charge of intentional damage. He will be sentenced in February.

His co-accused, Christian Landmark, 20, will fight the charge and is due back in court in January.

Christian Landmark
CHRISTIAN LANDMARK: Maintains his innocence of the desecration of Jewish graves.

Name suppression for both men lapsed when they appeared in court.

More than a dozen headstones in the Jewish quarter of the Symonds St Cemetery were vandalised with images of swastikas and expletive-ridden anti-Israeli messages on October 19.

Police withdrew a charge against a third man accused of being involved in the attack.

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As part of their bail conditions, the pair are not allowed to go to graveyards, synagogues or Jewish schools.

The cemetery, Auckland's first, has long been a target for vandals and also attracts people sleeping rough. 

The attack "sickened" Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres who said at the time that anti-Semitism of this kind was rare.

The last such attack was on a Wellington cemetery in 2005.

Auckland Now