Vandals rip out flowers and trash Captain Tom plaque at new coronavirus memorial

Vandals have trashed a new memorial to the victims of coronavirus, including a plaque paying tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Flowers have been ripped out of a wreath laid as a mark of respect to the 703 Stoke-on-Trent residents who lost their lives to Covid-19, just weeks after it was unveiled.

Now residents have condemned the destruction, which was discovered yesterday afternoon at the memorial in Fenton Park, Stoke on Trent Live reports.

Emma Owen, aged 40, from Fenton, said: "It's disgusting and disrespectful when people have lost people to coronavirus. I hope they find out who is responsible.

"We know a few people who have died through Covid-19 and it's not nice. We should be grateful that the council chose to put a memorial in Fenton Park as it's good to have it in Fenton."

Karen Smith, aged 60, from Fenton, added: "It's shocking how people can be so thoughtless. I don't understand why somebody would do that sort of thing.

"We were here when they put the memorial up and I've seen quite a few people stop to have a look and talk about it.

"It's made us all think and after the last year it was nice to have something like that in the park.

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"Maybe there needs to be some CCTV installed, but that's a cost to the council.

"Some people just don't have any respect for anything. It's awful and makes you feel like why bother having anything nice."

Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Ross Irving unveiled the memorial last month to mark 12 months since the start of the first coronavirus lockdown.

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The garden of reflection includes a fruit tree and a commemorative plaque to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

A bench was also dedicated to healthcare workers and volunteers who had lost their lives working tirelessly in the fight against the virus.

Fellow Fenton resident Eddie Jankowski, aged 71, said: "People have no respect anymore.

"This is a lovely bench to remember people after the year we have had and it's a shame that somebody has done this to it."

Annah Williams, aged 34, from Fenton, added: "The plaque with Captain Tom on being destroyed is horrible, I can't believe it, it's awful.

"This was a nice place for people to come. We come here every day and always see people having a look around."

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