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Vandals use grave's flood repairs to damage memorial in Willington
A WIDOWER is devastated after vandals targeted his wife’s grave days after flooding caused it to collapse.
Marjorie Scott had only been buried in the cemetery next to St Stephen’s Church in Willington, County Durham, for six days when heavy rain caused her grave to cave in.
Firefighters spent two hours bailing out the grave before installing a wooden border to prevent a further collapse on Sunday, August 4.
On Wednesday, August 7, her husband Paul Scott was horrified to discover vandals had pulled the wooden plank out of the graveside and driven it horizontally through the middle of the mound.
Mr Scott, who saw two men walking a dog through the graveyard at about 1.20am on the Wednesday morning, said he was distraught about the flooding.
The widower, who paid £2,000 for two undesignated plots in the graveyard, said: “I am just so upset, I cannot bear to think about it.
“Everyone can see it is down a big dip, there are graves either side so it had been left on purpose because it floods.
“It is so horrible, I can’t bear to think about what it is like further down.
“People have asked me whether I want her moving but I don’t know if they can, the damage has already been done. “
Durham County Council who manage the graveyard said they are investigating, and workmen are currently improving drainage in the cemetery.
Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “We are very sad to hear of the difficulties Mr Scott has encountered at such an upsetting time.
“As part of our normal procedures we have levelled off the top of the grave and will continue to do whatever is necessary to make sure it stays as it should be.”
Mr Sherratt also condemned the vandalism, and PC Simon Schofield from Crook Neighbourhood Policing Team said the culprits will be punished.
He said: “It is a despicable crime and one we are taking very seriously, whoever did it will be dealt with robustly.”
Mr Scott said: “I was devastated, it has been a terrible time and this has just made it worse.”
The couple, who ran a general store in Willington, were married for 49 years before Mrs Scott died last month aged 72.
They had one daughter and two grandsons.
Mr Scott said: “She was a kind, generous woman, you could not find anyone with a bad thing to say about her.”
Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact PC Schofield on 101.
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