From the Daily Mail 27/12/2007 War hero's daughter facing arrest for tackling yobs who 'trashed war memorial' By LUKE SALKELD When she spotted yobs vandalising a war memorial garden, Julie Lake sprang into action. As the daughter of a Second World War RAF pilot and granddaughter of one of the fallen in the 1914-18 war she felt it was her duty to intervene. But, after giving the main culprit a talking- to and a 'cuff round the ear', she finds herself facing the prospect of being arrested for assault. Yesterday Mrs Lake accused police of failing to follow up her complaints about graffiti and other hooliganism in the memorial garden. Julie Lake was upset at the constant defacing of the memorial "The memorial is a sacred place it's like a grave," said the 50-year-old. "How dare these youngsters tarnish the memories of those who made a sacrifice for future generations? "I've called the police and I've tried to talk to these kids, but I've got nowhere. "I lost my temper in complete frustration after two years of patiently trying to get something done and immediately the police are after me. It's ridiculous. "I did not go up to these boys intending to hit anyone but they when they started shouting abuse at me and my husband, Peter, who is recovering from cancer, I just snapped." She said that 15 youths surrounded her and mockingly asked if her husband, who was in their car, was going to rescue her. "I saw red and gave the ringleader a slap on the cheek," she added. "He was just laughing and said 'That's assault'. "Then they took my car registration and rang the police. They all know their rights, they just don't care about anyone else's." She said many of the older residents of her village Mangotsfield near Bristol were too scared to venture out at night because of the yobs. Gangs of teenagers wearing hooded tops have carried out a series of attacks on the pretty memorial garden with its sombre stone cross. They have daubed offensive graffiti on the stone, ridden their bikes over wreaths and carved their names into wooden benches. A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the force is investigating an alleged assault on a 15- year-old boy. He admitted however that Mangotsfield has a problem with youth vandalism. Inspector Gus Krouwel said: 'Neighbourhood police regularly receive complaints about groups of around eight young people gathering by the war memorial, drinking and leaving litter. "I do appreciate that people may get frustrated with this sort of situation but the appropriate response is to work with agencies like the police and local authority to find solutions." Mrs Lake will voluntarily attend a police station next month to be formally arrested. She could be charged with assault which carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a £5,000 fine. But she said she was prepared to take any punishment she is given to make a point about the effects of anti-social behaviour. "The yobs have stopped going to the war memorial as much but this is what it has taken," she said. "I'll go to prison if I have to, because this is not about me, it is about the whole community who are scared to leave their homes. "I know the lad I got hold of was the most persistent offender. "I gave him what the police would call a cuff round the ear and threw his bike into the ground." Mrs Lake, who works in sales, said the example of her father, who was based in wartime South Africa, had inspired her to take action. She said: "My father and grandfather serving in the forces have made me very passionate about honouring our soldiers and what they sacrificed. "My family told me never to shrink from a challenge and although I don't condone what I did, I hope some good comes out of it." Mrs Lake's 63-year-old husband, a retired airman, also lost a grandfather in the First World War.