An eco-zealot who poured human excrement over a memorial to pandemic hero Captain Sir Tom Moore has today been spared jail over the ‘abhorrent act’.
Maddie Budd, 21, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage at the memorial in Hatton, Derbyshire, on September 30.
District Judge Louisa Cieciora sentenced Budd to 21 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
She was also ordered to pay £200 compensation.
District Judge Cieciora had earlier warned her that the starting point for sentencing following her guilty plea could be 18 months’ imprisonment.
She told her today: ‘You had clearly thought about the maximum level of public outrage it would cause.
‘You needed to prepare it for transport and use, and make arrangements for it to be filmed.
‘The cost of repair was low. I am told it cost about £200.
‘The substance was deliberately chosen as being most demeaning and disrespectful, but it is also a substance that is relatively easy to clean and remove.
‘You did what you did to cause maximum distress and outrage.
‘I accept that you did attempt to clean the statue.
‘I accept that your views and the depth of your emotion about climate change are genuine.’
Budd had been remanded in custody while her pre-sentence report was carried out ahead of her sentencing today after she had been refused bail because the judge thought there was ‘substantial grounds’ she would offend again.
Katie McFadden, defending, said: ‘Ms Budd lives in a caravan with a chemical toilet. The degree of planning may not be high as this is something that would be freely available to her.
‘Ms Budd did take actions to clean the statue. She did this with water and tissue paper. This is indicative of intent.
‘She expresses that Captain Tom Moore was a hero, and did great things, but that the global climate is collapsing.
‘She expresses that the world is already collapsing.’
Maddie Budd, 21, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage at the memorial in Hatton, Derbyshire, back on September 30
Former medical student Maddie Budd, 21, filmed herself pouring a bucket of human excrement over a memorial to Captain Sir Tom Moore in a protest over the use of private jets
Captain Sir Tom Moore was known for raising a thumb aloft in celebration for his incredible work to raise money for the NHS
Eco-zealots End Uk Private Jets distributed this moody shot of Budd after she had been arrested and pleaded guilty
Footage of the stunt, carried out for the pressure group End UK Private Jets, shoed her drenching the monument – which honours the 100-year-old World War Two vet who raised £33million for the NHS during lockdown – in urine and faeces.
At an earlier hearing prosecutor Jordan Pratt told Westminster Magistrates Court: ‘On September 30 the defendant attended a location in Hatton where there is a statue of Sir Captain Tom Moore.
‘The statue is situated in a public area next to a road. She approached the statue and poured a bucket of human faeces all over this statue.
‘She was wearing a white t-shirt which said “End UK Private Jets”. This act was filmed. It has already been seen by a number of people. This is an abhorrent act.
‘I need not remind the court of the impact that Tom Moore had. He was a figurehead who people rallied round to raise tens of millions of pounds walking round his garden at the height of the pandemic.’
Ms Budd’s father had told MailOnline he was ‘ashamed of her’ and ‘sick with shock’ when he saw what she had done.
Budd was previously arrested in London in September 2021 while protesting with doctors and health care professionals for Extinction Rebellion.
Budd was arrested in London while attending a protest with other End UK Private Jets members, a group spokesperson alleged. She was reportedly escorted out of the rally by 18 police officers.
The activist’s father, Jim Budd, 62, told MailOnline his daughter had ‘gone rogue’ after dropping out of medical school to become a full-time eco-warrior, giving up her career.
Father-of-six Mr Budd, an award-winning glazier, said he had felt sick when he saw the video of her defiling Captain Tom’s image. Mr Budd said he and his charity worker wife Harriet, 63, had messaged Budd after they realised what she had done but received no reply.
The vandalised memorial was in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who made international headlines in 2020 when he raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the Covid-19 pandemic
Budd tried to justify her desecration of the memorial by claiming that ‘every time one [private jet] takes off, it pours a bucket of sh*t and blood onto everything that Captain Tom stood for’
How Sir Captain Tom’s heroic actions boosted Britain amid lockdown
Sir Captain Tom Moore hoped to raise £1,000 for the NHS, but ended up capturing the hearts of the nation.
Here’s how 100 laps around his garden became a knighthood…
April 2020 The army veteran begins fundraising in the hope of raising £1,000 for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic. He wants to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30.
April 14 More than £2million is donated.
April 15 The total rises to £7million as more than 340,000 people show their support.
April 16 He completes his 100 laps – meaning he walked an average of six laps a day – and reveals he’s going to keep going to raise as much as possible. Both the Prime Minister and the Royal Family congratulate him.
April 24 Sir Captain Tom is the oldest person ever to reach Number One in the Top 40 Charts with his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone. He performs it alongside singer Michael Ball and The NHS Voices of Care Choir.
April 30 The fundraising page hits £32million on his 100th birthday. He is made an honorary colonel and enjoys a military flypast.
July 17 The Queen awards him a knighthood in a special engagement.
September He writes bestselling autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day and signs a deal to film a biopic of his life.
October 5 – Captain Tom starts a podcast to tackle isolation among Britain’s elderly.
December He ticks a holiday to Barbados off his bucket list.
January 31, 2021 He is admitted to hospital amid an intense battle with pneumonia, his family reveal.
February 2, 2021 Sir Captain Tom’s death is announced days after he tests positive for coronavirus.
Speaking from their home near Kington on the England-Wales border, he told MailOnline close to tears: ‘The shock of this is hurting people and upsetting them.
‘I’m ashamed of her and what she has done. There has been a big public reaction for obvious reasons. I don’t think she understands what the hell she was unleashing.
‘She’s done something horrible without thinking of the consequences.’
He added: ‘I felt sick with shock when I saw it – I have sent her a text message but she has not replied.
‘It goes against all the things you install in your children – it is not normal behaviour. I’m extremely sad. The fact is she has sort of gone rogue.’
Until recently Maddie had been at medical school in Manchester ahead of an expected career with the NHS.
But she dropped out to devote all her time to protesting over climate change after developing an initial interest at a young age.
Her father added it was ‘understandable’ for the police to investigate what he called ‘an act of desecration’.
He said: ‘I can’t really apologise on her behalf. Sir Tom was clearly a national hero and the country resonated with his fantastic and amazing actions.
‘However shocking the future of climate change predictions are, I don’t think it was her duty to desecrate his memory in the way she has.
‘Her motivations are very real but misplaced. The fact is she has gone rogue, so to speak.
‘When people are young and vulnerable they can go down roads they would not do later in life. It is a horrible thing to have happened and people are obviously upset.
‘It is very hard to understand how young people can feel so threatened by climate change that they can carry out such extreme actions.
‘But I’m not making excuses for her. She has made a terrible mistake. We were horrified, it’s an ongoing worry.’
Mr Budd feels Maddie should be working in a legitimate climate change action group rather than carrying out solo acts of desecration.
He said: ‘Young people do feel desperate and my daughter feels more desperate than most. Her actions were ill judged and awful – this is horrible for any parent to go through.
My wife is really upset. ‘My daughter has given up her career to become a full-time protestor because she feels that strongly. So there’s quite a long lead up to this.
Jim Budd, the father of eco warrior shown on video making a protest about private jets said he was ashamed and felt sick when he saw it
‘Her intentions were to draw attention to this crisis when seemingly no one else does.
‘But this particular action is counter-productive and has done nothing but upset a lot of people. I’m ashamed of her and what she has done.
Video of the stunt had been passed to Derbyshire Police by the company who made the memorial, AGC Fabrications.
Budd filmed herself pouring the canister of faeces and urine over the memorial to the late captain, who made international headlines in 2020 when he raised millions for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And in a bizarre justification she later filed a video declaring: ‘People are going to say that he’s a hero, people are going to say that this is profoundly, obscenely disrespectful to his life, and to the NHS he stood up for and I agree.
‘I was studying to become a doctor because I believe in taking care of people. If we believe that the NHS is important, if we believe in taking care of each other, if we believe that NHS workers are doing essential work, why are forcing our healthcare system into collapse, why are we forcing our civilisation into collapse, why is basically no-one taking this genocide of all humanity seriously?
‘All of this is true and the Government won’t even end UK private jets, every time one takes off, it pours a bucket of sh** and blood onto everything that Captain Tom stood for’
Captain Tom began to walk 100 lengths of his garden at the age of 99 in 2020, with the aim of raising £1,000 for NHS charities by his 100th birthday on April 30.
However, thanks to media appearances, his efforts caught the imagination of the nation and by his birthday he had raised over £30million. He was considered a national treasure by his death on February 2, 2021 after catching Covid.
The video showing Budd pouring faeces over the memorial to the beloved captain, who was awarded a flypast by the RAF and British Army on his 100th birthday and was even knighted by the Queen, has prompted predictable outrage from the public.
‘How will this convince people to earn private jet use?’ wrote one Twitter user. ‘It looks like a child throwing a disgusting tantrum and being beyond disrespectful. This kind of behavior will not convince anyone to make any changes.’
Another wrote: ‘Hope she gets jail time for this. Not helping your cause at all, if anything I’m now against you and your cause. Disgusting honestly you should be distancing yourselves from this disgraceful behaviour not supporting it.’
While a third raised questions about why Budd is no longer a medical student.
‘Former medical student? What is she now? Or is that just too embarrassing to publicise.’
And a person who claims to have gifted the memorial said they would be pursuing Budd for vandalism.
‘We will work with the police to ensure this taken as far as possible.’
According to her Facebook page, Budd was arrested in September last year in London while protesting with doctors and health care professionals for Extinction Rebellion.
Emissions from flights are known to be significantly worse than any other form of transport, and private jets generally produce significantly more emissions per passenger than commercial flights.
Many celebrities have been pulled up for their private jet use, with one of Kylie Jenner’s flights reportedly lasting an offensively short 17 minutes.
It is estimated that her 17-minute jaunt would’ve resulted in a ton of carbon dioxide emissions.
While in itself not a huge amount, it is about a quarter of the total annual carbon footprint of the average person globally.
During the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow last year, there was a total of 76 flights involving private jets, or VIP flights, arriving in and around Glasgow in the four days leading up to November 1.