'Vile' vandals damage headstones at Melcombe Regis Cemetery

5:00am Monday 27th January 2014

By Harry Hogger

VANDALS who desecrated a Weymouth cemetery have been branded as ‘vile’ and ‘sick’.

Police are appealing for witnesses after around ten headstones were damaged at the Melcombe Regis Cemetery in Newstead Road.

It was the second time the graveyard has been targeted by yobs in a matter of months.

Police said on this occasion the offenders damaged a number of gravestones, with one in particular having the head knocked off a statue and a vase smashed.

In October last year Kerry Baker and her mother Sandra Holden were left devastated when vandals damaged the grave of Kerry’s great grandparents Kathleen and George Read that they regularly visit at the cemetery.

The headstone of the grave had been knocked over and flower pots strewn across the cemetery.

Kerry said she knew just how bad it felt for anyone who had a grave of a loved one damaged by vandals and condemned the perpetrators.

She said: “There is no consideration from these people who are damaging people’s headstones.

“I think it’s sad and upsetting that when a family goes to see them or lay flowers down for their family and pay their respects that this is what they come across – it’s vile.”

She added: “There is no respect from these vandals.”

Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Ray Banham also slammed the vandals.

He said: “I think these people must be sick, I really do.

“It’s terrible that they can go into a graveyard and destroy something of that nature.

“For people who are bereaved and attending these graves to arrive and find their loved one’s grave has been damaged in such a way must be quite devastating for them and I really do feel for them.”

Councillor Banham said he was aware that police did patrol in the area and he hoped something could be done to make sure the offenders are brought to justice.

He said: “This is the second time this has happened and I sincerely hope we catch somebody or somebody has seen something so we can get hold of these sick people because we cannot have crimes of this nature happening in the borough.”

Dorset Police is appealing for witnesses to the latest spate of vandalism, which occurred between 2pm on January 15 and 2.40pm on January 20, to contact them on 101.

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