James Dowling, 61, and three others plead not guilty to willful damage of Toowong cemetery, saying they made ‘a strong statement’ against blasphemy

A man accused of desecrating a Brisbane war memorial says he had a “higher permission” to remove a brass sword from a stone crucifix.

James Joseph Dowling, 61, and three other men went to Toowong cemetery with a mallet, anvil and ladder and vandalised the monument on Ash Wednesday, Brisbane magistrates court heard on Wednesday.

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