May 4, 2021 5.47 pm This story is over 14 months old

Sarah Everard Lincoln tributes damage prompts plans for permanent memorial

The original memorial looks to have been vandalised

Plans for a permanent Sarah Everard memorial are being considered by the University of Lincoln, after the current tribute appears to have been vandalised again.

A memorial was created for Sarah Everard on University Library Bridge in Lincoln on March 16, just days after the 33-year-old was found dead in woodlands in Kent after going missing during a walk home in Clapham, London.

Serving Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been arrested on suspicion of Everard’s kidnap and murder, and will face a trial this autumn.

University Library Bridge has been covered with tributes. | Photo: The Lincolnite

Accompanying the memorial were statistics and slogans surrounding the topic of violence against women, etched in chalk on the ground of the bridge.

These tributes soon spread across Lincoln, with chalk markings covering walls from the High Street to the old police station on West Parade.

The tribute is right outside the former police station on West Parade. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The response prompted a protest through the streets of Lincoln in which women marched through the High Street with chalk and wrote “I am the 97%” in reference to a recent study that found 97% of women have been subject to sexual harassment at some point in their lives.

The reaction hasn’t all been positive, however, with crude and offensive markings marring the memorials across the city.

Tasteless counter protests to the Sarah Everard memorials and tributes were spotted in Lincoln.

One person wrote a rape joke on the war memorial wall, while another drew a phallic symbol on University Library Bridge, right next to the original Sarah Everard memorial.

The first person was a woman and was sanctioned under the mental health act afterwards.

In the latest scandal involving the memorials, posters that were stuck up on the bridge as part of the tributes appear to have been ripped off over the bank holiday weekend.

The tape designed to hold these sheets of paper, which contained pictures of Sarah Everard as well as statistics and stories of other women who suffered at the hands of male violence, was kept as it was, but the tributes were taken down.

Tributes at the Richard Okorogheye memorial appear to have been ripped off the glass at University Library Bridge. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The same can be said at the memorial for Richard Okorogheye, a 19-year-old student from London who was found dead in a forest pond after going missing for weeks.

His memorial, which is directly opposite the Sarah Everard one, has also been damaged, with the picture showing his face and reading “Justice for Richard” being ripped from the bridge.

The flowers at both memorials were kept as they were, despite most if not all of them being dried out for quite some time.

The University of Lincoln has said that plans are now being considered for a more permanent tribute to Sarah Everard after the incident.

A University of Lincoln spokesperson said: “The murder of Sarah Everard has highlighted essential issues about women’s safety and the memorials on the University of Lincoln campus have been important for students and staff.

“We’re working with the Students’ Union to look at ways we can create a lasting memorial on our campus to victims of hate-based violence to help our community continue to pay their respects and campaign on these issues.”