20 Jan 2013

Jewish community seeks to help grave desecrator

12:44 pm on 20 January 2013

Auckland's Jewish community has offered to help a youth who descrated its headstones with swastikas in an attack last October.

Robert Moulden, 19, has pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging headstones in Auckland's Symonds St Cemetery in Auckland District Court and will be sentenced next month. A co-accused has denied the charge.

Some of the gravestones were damaged beyond repair and some were of people who had lost family in the Holocaust.

Jewish Council of New Zealand chairman Geoff Levy said Moulden had a difficult family background and community members sought to help him during a restorative justice session.

This included inviting him to a traditional dinner at a Jewish home on a Friday evening and offering to help him get further education and employment.

Mr Levy says punitive measures against a 19-year-old would not achieve much.