Fa­ther re­ports son, 15, for war memo­rial van­dal­ism

Par­ent praised for ‘brave act’

Western Daily Press - - Front Page - JANET HUGHES janet.hughes@reach­plc.com

ADEVASTATED dad shopped his own son for dam­ag­ing a ‘Silent Sol­dier’ memo­rial erected as part of a Glouces­ter­shire town’s Re­mem­brance Day com­mem­o­ra­tions.

The fa­ther gave his 15-year-old son’s name to the au­thor­i­ties af­ter find­ing out he was in­volved in a van­dal at­tack on one of five metal sil­hou­ettes mark­ing 100 years since the end of World War One.

And he of­fered to pay for the Silent Sol­dier to be re­paired in time for an event on Sun­day, which will see dig­ni­taries in Lyd­ney light a bea­con in hon­our of those who lost their lives in the Great War.

The fa­ther came for­ward af­ter civic lead­ers called on the com­mu­nity to name and shame those re­spon­si­ble for the dam­age.

Hun­dreds took to so­cial me­dia to praise him af­ter the town coun­cil an­nounced the re­pairs were be­ing ar­ranged and the teenager was be­ing dealt with by po­lice.

Jayne Smailes, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Lyd­ney Town Coun­cil, de­clined to give any fur­ther de­tails but said it showed how the For­est of Dean com­mu­nity had pulled to­gether.

“A par­ent came in to pro­fusely apol­o­gise and of­fered to pay for any dam­age caused by their child,” she said.

“The par­ent was very up­set by the ac­tions of their child. It was a very brave act to come for­ward and ad­mit it.

“The mat­ter is now in the hands of the po­lice and Lyd­ney Town Coun­cil will be draw­ing a line un­der it.”

The par­ent came for­ward af­ter the town coun­cil re­vealed that the Silent Sol­dier, on Prim­rose Hill Mesne – a hill­top green area with park – had been at­tacked for the sec­ond time.

Van­dals had al­ready bro­ken off the end of a ri­fle and dented the sil­hou­ette when some­body tried to rip it from the ground on Satur­day night and dented it fur­ther.

The coun­cil said mem­bers were “shocked and sad­dened” by the at­tack on one of the five £150 silent soldiers in the town.

And civic lead­ers called on the com­mu­nity to name and shame those re­spon­si­ble.

“To show such dis­re­spect to a sym­bol of our Armed Forces for the sac­ri­fice they made is, in our view, frankly dis­gust­ing and these in­di­vid­u­als should be named and shamed,” a spokesman said.

“This should be a time of com­ing to­gether in peace and re­mem­brance to pay trib­ute to all those who paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice so that we may en­joy the lib­er­ties which we have to­day.

“To have such a sym­bol of their sac­ri­fice treated in such a dis­re­spect­ful and de­spi­ca­ble way is truly heart­break­ing.”

Some lo­cals said they had heard that a group of 12-year-olds had planned a party on the grassed area known as the Mesne on Satur­day night and the boy was prob­a­bly not act­ing alone.

A black­smith is try­ing to re­pair the dam­aged stat­uette in time for this Sun­day’s Bat­tle’s Over com­mem­ora- tions, mark­ing 100 years since the end of the con­flict.

Lyd­ney mayor, Bob Ber­ry­man, said: “The fa­ther came in this morn­ing and said it was his child. He of­fered to pay for the dam­age and said they would also do some work in the com­mu­nity, so we are not press­ing charges. I think in light of him com­ing in, that is the way for­ward.”

A Glouces­ter­shire Po­lice spokesman said: “A 15-year-old boy and one of his par­ents has at­tended Lyd­ney Town Coun­cil and ad­mit­ted the van­dal­ism to the memo­rial on Prim­rose Hill in Lyd­ney last week.

“The cost of the dam­age is due to be re­paid to the coun­cil and we will be work­ing with them to de­cide on an ap­pro­pri­ate restora­tive jus­tice out­come in this case.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.