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UPDATED: Man arrested as vandals strike at Poole cemetery for second time
MORE than 20 graves have been vandalised at Poole Cemetery – the second attack there in two weeks.
Mindless vandals kicked over headstones – breaking some in half – ripped out flower pots, and threw floral tributes, leaving a trail of destruction at the Dorchester Road cemetery in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It comes as a fresh blow to families left distraught after the graves of loved ones elsewhere in the same cemetery were desecrated at the end of January.
Then 25 graves, including that of a six-month-old baby and a World War One veteran, were wrecked – leaving family members who came to pay their respects devastated to discover the damage.
Stonemasons were already at work yesterday morning trying to repair some of the destruction – but Robin Case, of Excalibur Stone, said some headstones too badly damaged to be righted would have to be laid respectfully over the top of the graves.
Mr Case, who had also restored damage from the previous attack a fortnight earlier, told the Echo he believed the heavy stones had been kicked over – and would have needed a “determined effort” to topple.
“It’s despicable,” he told the Echo.
This time the graves were in the older park of the cemetery and were around 60 or 70 years old.
But the news of the vandalism has already caused anxiety for families with loved ones buried there more recently.
Neigh-bours of the cemetery were also shocked to hear of the second spate of vandalism.
Lindy Shackford, 63, of Dorchester Road, said: “It’s just mindless. I think it’s awful – but I don’t know what can be done aside from putting a guard outside.”
Andrew Flockhart, strategic director at Borough of Poole, said: “We are extremely saddened to learn of this second incident.” Both the council and the police do carry out regular patrols of the cemetery.
“However, following these incidents we will be reviewing our security arrangements in due course.”
Police are investigating the latest incident, and have arrested a 33-year-old man from Poole on suspicion of criminal damage. He is helping officers with their enquiries.
Dorset Police has asked witnesses and anyone with information to contact them on 101 quoting incident number 10:152, or call Crimstoppers on 0800 555111.
Police arrested a 23-year-old in connection with the first incident of vandalism in the cemetery. He has been released on police bail.