A VANDAL with a power saw has damaged a wooden bridge and a seat in Saltburn Valley Gardens.

The culprit has also stolen a four-foot section of the bridge's ornate handrail and part of the seat's backrest.

A member of the public alerted countryside wardens to the vandalism, which has left Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council facing a £500 repair bill.

Police are investigating the damage, which took place on Sunday night.

The bridge was built at a cost of £28,000 in the wake of flooding in 2000.

Dennis Demoily, the council's community parks officer, said: "Everyone is disgusted at what can only be described as a piece of wanton vandalism.

"By the look of the cuts, it appears someone has used a battery-powered handsaw of some kind.

"Whoever has done it has removed one four-foot section completely and then damaged other areas of the bridge.

"They have then moved on to the seat and sawn through five slats of the backrest, removing a section of that too."