Vandalised gravestones to be repaired as Gosport Borough Council condemns 'despicable' act
WORK is under way to repair the mindless vandalism of graves at Ann’s Hill Cemetery in Gosport.
Across the weekend relatives of loved ones buried in the graveyard were left ‘distraught’ after eight headstones were defaced with blue and green spray paint with several displaying the letters TC.
Gosport Borough Council has now hired a stonemason to professionally clean the stonework and make sure there is no lasting damage.
Where possible, relatives of the deceased are also being contacted by the council so the families concerned can be kept informed on the restoration work.
Cllr Philip Raffaelli, chair of the community board at Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘This is a despicable and disrespectful act of vandalism and those who are responsible should be held to account. Over the weekend a group of local residents kindly came together to begin cleaning up the damage.
‘We are now working with a stonemason to ensure these gravestones are fully repaired. Thankfully this kind of vandalism is a very rare occurrence. This is the first time in over 20 years that there has been an incident like this at the cemetery.
‘I would urge anyone with information about this incident to contact the police.’
After hearing about the damage on social media, relatives rushed to the cemetery on Sunday morning, fearful the graves of their loved ones had been targeted.
Speaking at the time former royal marine, Chris Young, 37, said: ‘My mother’s grave is one of the first you see when you come into the cemetery and so I was concerned it may have been damaged. Fortunately it was left alone but this is an absolutely despicable act.
‘This is supposed to be a place of rest. How do you punish someone who would do such a heinous thing?’
Ralph Saunders, 77, added: ‘I just don’t understand their mentality. They need to be brought down to see the impact of the damage caused. How would they feel if it was their parent or grandparent?’
The incident is believed to have taken place on the night of Friday, March 5 and police are investigating the exact circumstances.
Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is urged to get in touch with Hampshire police by calling 101 and quoting reference 44210085365.