Denmark jails man for defacing gravestones with ‘number of the beast’

A high court in Denmark has decided to keep a man in police custody for defacing gravestones with the number 666.

Denmark jails man for defacing gravestones with 'number of the beast'
Photo: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix

The 46-year-old man who committed the act of vandalism at the churchyard in Hadsund will now be remanded in custody, the North Jutland Police prosecution service confirmed.

Thursday’s decision by the Vestre Landsret court takes the opposite position to an earlier district court ruling which decided against extending the man’s detainment.

He was arrested on Wednesday and subsequently appeared at preliminary court proceedings after painting the number 666 on 80 gravestones at the church. The vandalism was discovered by church staff on Sunday.

He has a previous charge for a similar incident at Visborg in 2016, although that case is yet to be concluded.

“It’s no secret we had our suspicions about him [due to the previous case, ed.]. And based on witness statements in the area, we think there is cause for preliminary charge,” lead investigator Sune Myrup told Ritzau on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old faces charges of gross vandalism under Denmark’s criminal law.

The number 666 is described in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible as the “number of the Beast” and is considered a symbol of the devil.

Although the city court in Aalborg decided to free the man on Wednesday, that decision has now been overturned by the higher court following an appeal by the prosecution service.

READ ALSO: Denmark's Little Mermaid turns blue and white after latest vandalism

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Danish Covid-19 test and vaccination centres hit by vandal and arson attacks

Covid-19 vaccine and testing centres across Jutland have been targeted in a series of incidents in recent days.

Danish Covid-19 test and vaccination centres hit by vandal and arson attacks
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

In Rødekro, a town of 6,000 people in southern Jutland close to the German border, perpetrators vandalised several signs that showed directions to vaccination and test centres.

Police in the region have confirmed the incident and encouraged potential witnesses to get in contact.

The signs were painted over with green spray paint and phrases such as “Fuck WHO”, “Fuck WHO fascists” and “Corona is lies”.

The vandalism was most likely committed during Tuesday night, according to the police.

“Police are requesting that witnesses who have made observations, or who have knowledge of the perpetrators, contact the police with information,” law enforcement wrote in a press release. Witnesses can contact the police via telephone number 114. 

A vaccination and test centre in North Jutland town Hobro was also vandalised, according to the local sports centre, Hobro Idrætscenter, which houses the facility.

“During the night, vandalism was committed and signs were stolen in connection with the test and vaccination centres at Hobro Idrætscenter,” the sports centre wrote on Wednesday on its Facebook page.

The centre said it will replace the signs.

“It’s just incredibly tiresome,” the manager of the sports centre, Johnny Wulff, told local media Nordjyske.

Meanwhile, a vaccination centre in Silkeborg, central Jutland was targeted in an attempted arson, the regional police district said on Tuesday.

A box containing face masks was set on fire inside of a container. The perpetrator or perpetrators then attempted to push the container through a glass screen at the vaccination centre.

Fire did not spread in the building but police are taking the situation very seriously and are looking for witnesses.

Earlier this month, fire bombs were thrown at a test centre in Ballerup north of Copenhagen. That incident resulted in the National Police (Rigspolitiet) announcing that law enforcement would be keeping an extra close eye on vaccination and test centres.

READ ALSO: Hundreds gather in Copenhagen to protest Denmark’s Covid-19 laws