THE graves of two children in Devizes Cemetery have been vandalised and the grieving mums have appealed for information.
Julie Barnett and her daughter, Kylie Thomas, who both live in Bromham, were horrified to get a phone call on the Sunday before Christmas telling them the gravestones of the two children had been attacked.
It brought back the heartache they felt the last time the graves were vandalised in August 2010.
Mrs Barnett, who lost her son Charlie to a heart defect in 1996, said: “We were here the Friday before and everything was fine. Then, on Sunday, I had a phone call. I couldn’t believe it. The gravestones had been pushed back and one of them was twisted out of place as well.”
Mrs Thomas, whose son Callum died, aged two, from a respiratory infection in March 2008, said: “We think we know who did it, but unless we get some evidence, we can’t do anything about it.
“It is very upsetting at any time of year, but so close to Christmas it is heartbreaking.”
Damage was done to the gravestones in August 2010 and town council parks staff were able to stake the memorials to make them safe. This time, however, the damage is so severe that the stones will have to be reset.
Mrs Barnett said: “I don’t know where we’ll find the money. It will cost thousands.”
Carole Berry, the town council’s direct services manager, said: “Our parks staff were made aware of the damage and have made the monuments safe. I understand the police have been informed.”
The graves of the two tots have been a source of heartache for the two women since Callum’s death nearly four years ago. They had created a little shrine in front of the headstones, with toys, figures and flowers.
But in April 2010 they came into conflict with the town council over the extent of the garden in front of the graves but reached a compromise and agreed to reduce the size.
Inspector Ron Peach of Devizes police said: “It seems from records that this is the second time the headstones have been damaged. There have been no reports of other stones being attacked. The implications being that this family is possibly being targeted. This is a heartless offence – we will do everything we can to identify and deal the person or persons responsible.”
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact Devizes police via the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
This is Wiltshire - Friday 23rd December 2011