A COUPLE have told of their distress after vandals destroyed a bench erected in memory of their late son.
Dad-of-two Ian Morrison, 41, died suddenly in his sleep two years ago.
Relatives and friends had raised about £700 for the memorial bench, which had been put up on Portsdown Hill where Mr Morrison like to visit.
Now his parents Duncan, 70, and Pat, 69, are distraught after the bench was so badly damaged that it had to be removed by the city council.
Mrs Morrison, of Ingledene Close, Bedhampton, said: ‘We used it a lot, that’s our special place to go up.
‘They have completely wrecked it. It’s really hard wood and apparently it was snapped in half. The plaque that was on it was on the floor.
‘We asked if it could be repaired but it was beyond repair. It has had to be removed, which we understand, because of health and safety.
‘When my son died, it was very sudden. It was not expected at all. He was fit, he was in the running club and everything.
‘He was a marvellous dad.’
Portsmouth Joggers Club, of which Ian was a member, had also contributed towards the cost of the bench.
It featured a plaque inscribed with the words ‘In loving memory of Ian John Morrison (Mo) 1969 - 2011. Portsmouth was his home, Portsdown Hill his special place. Always in our thoughts, you are loved and missed by family and friends. A special thank you to Portsmouth Joggers Club.’
Mrs Morrison added: ‘we are all so upset about it. We can’t believe it’s happened.
‘They destroyed the bench. It must have taken a lot of effort to do it.’