Disgust as graves of soldier and child vandalised

Two grieving families are demanding answers and justice after repeated criminal attacks were launched against their loved ones' graves.

Thursday, 7th July 2016, 11:37 am
Updated Thursday, 7th July 2016, 12:42 pm
Damage to a soldier's grave at Gidlow cemetery

Carefully chosen ornaments and mementoes have been left charred and ruined after being set alight by unknown yobs.

The graves in Gidlow cemetery belonging to a young child and a soldier who once served in Iraq, were attacked some time between June 20 and June 27.

Appalled police are now appealing to Wigan Today readers to help them catch the culprits.

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Damage to a soldier's grave at Gidlow cemetery

Both graves been targeted four times over the last year with the vandals setting fire to the lanterns and flowers which subsequently melted causing the damage.

It’s a total mystery to police as to why the graves appear to have been vandalised with no known connections between the two.

Police say that both families have been left “distraught” with personal items also stolen.

It is also believed that there have been further incidents, which have not yet been reported.

Damage to a soldier's grave at Gidlow cemetery

Officers are appealing for anyone with any information to come forward and also for other victims to report any damage.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “This has understandably caused immense distress within the family and Greater Manchester Police are taking this matter seriously.

“We need to find the persons responsible so we’re appealing to the community for help in identifying them.

“If you suspect who may be involved then please call us.”

Paul Barton, assistant director for Environmental Services at Wigan Council who manage the land, also condemned the callous vandalism.

He said: “We are shocked and saddened by the acts of vandalism that have occurred in the cemetery and are currently liaising with police and the families concerned that we have been able to contact.

“We are working with colleagues who manage CCTV coverage to identify ways to find the person responsible.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.