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Charge laid in Vancouver Chinatown war memorial vandalism

Larry George Carlston is accused of multiple mischief charges involving vandalism in various parts of Chinatown.
Vancouver's Chinese Cultural Centre has been vandalized multiple times in the past.

A Vancouver man is facing multiple mischief charges, including one for allegedly defacing the city’s Chinatown war memorial.

Larry George Carlston was due in Vancouver Provincial Court Oct. 3 to face eight charges, one of which involves allegations he committed mischief Jan. 26 by writing graffiti on the Chinatown Plaza war memorial.

The charges against Carlston, 61, begin with allegations that, on Jan. 4, he committed mischief under $5,000 for writing graffiti on a Chinatown Business Improvement Association (CBIA) bulletin board.

For the same day, it is further alleged Carlston committed mischief in violation of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of an Armed Conflict by writing graffiti on the doors of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

He is charged with committing the same offence Jan. 20 and Jan. 26.

For Jan. 26, he is also charged with mischief for allegedly writing graffiti on a CBIA bulletin board.

Further, Carlston is charged with mischief under $5,000 for allegedly writing graffiti on a City of Vancouver bulletin board Feb. 1. And, for the same day, he is charged with mischief under $5,000 for allegedly writing graffiti on a window of the Elizabeth Fry Society.

A finding of guilt on a cultural property mischief charge that is prosecuted as an indictable offence can result in a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. That can be less severe if the charge is prosecuted as a summary conviction.

The convention named in two charges — also known as the Second Protocol of the Hague Convention — provides for the protection of cultural properties.

Vancouver Park Board began work in 2017 to have Chinatown, including the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the Chinese Cultural Centre, designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site.