A FATHER has spoken of his anger after callous thieves swiped an ornamental train from his daughter’s community garden for a second time.

The heartless crooks first stole the wooden decoration from a community garden in Sadberge, near Darlington, in June.

The train was made by Sadberge resident, Chris Smith, who then gave it to his 11-year-old daughter, Katie, to display in the village’s community garden, which she maintains, along with the Green Shoots gardening club.

Following an appeal in The Northern Echo, the youngster was reunited with the train after a Good Samaritan spotted it in pieces in a ditch in Darlington.

Her father carefully repaired the train as best he could, and it returned to the garden.

However, just weeks later, the train has been stolen again.

Mr Smith said: “I am more angry this time because it was well documented that it was an 11-year-old’s garden – they have stolen it from an 11-year-old child.

“It isn’t all there because we didn’t get all the bits back so it isn’t even something they can sell at a boot sale because there are parts missing.

“My daughter is a bit bemused by it all. There are a lot of unhappy people in the village because of it.”

Mr Smith believes the train was stolen sometime between 7pm on Wednesday, August 5 and 7am the following day.