Heartbroken mother appeals for end to sick attacks on son’s grave

A DEVASTATED local mother has called for attacks on her son’s grave to stop, after it was damaged for the second time.

Last week the Times reported how two bronze coloured statues on the grave at the cemetery on the Toome Roadwere damaged sometime between Sunday, August 21 and Sunday, August 28.

Police believe thieves thought the objects were valuable however officers state they were of little monetary value.

John Paul Ward passed away after a battle with cancer four years ago and was buried at the plot in the Toome Road Cemetery.

This is the second time the grave has been vandalised and Anne Ward told the Times that the entire family is devastated by this latest incident.

She said:

“They tried to take the whole statue off and the head broke off. They must have then realised they weren’t bronze when they felt the chalk underneath.

They think they are valuable but the statues aren’t valuable, they are of St. Anthony and mean a lot to me and my family.

“There are people coming to repair the damage but I am going to get them to take off the statues. This will hopefully stop whoever is doing this from thinking they are getting something.

“I’m appealing for anyone out there doing this to stop, it’s not fair to anyone.”

Police in Ballymena are appealing for information, condemning those responsible, Temp Chief Inspector Fitzpatrick said, “This is disgraceful behaviour. Police will be actively pursuing those responsible for this heinous act and they will be dealt with sternly by the police and courts. I ask the public for their help to catch those responsible. Anyone found interfering with or damaging graves, will face the full rigours of the law.”

Anyone who has any information about this incident is asked to contact Police at Ballymena on 0845 600 8000.

Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.