Family gravestones smashed and tributes torn apart
GRAVES have been damaged and floral tributes ripped apart in a "disgraceful' vandalism attack at a city cemetery.
Multiple graves at Efford cemetery were targeted, with ornaments smashed and headstones left loose and marked with muddy footprints where it appeared they had been kicked in the trail of destruction.
Broken beer bottles lay amongst wreckage of what appeared to be a baby's grave.
Families whose loved ones' graves were hit have branded the crime as "disgraceful, immoral and beyond belief".
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Police are urging anyone with information about the attack to come forward.
The criminal damage took place some time after 7pm on October 3 and 7am the following morning.
Andy Jean, of Elburton, was horrified to discover that his mother Marie Jean's grave had been damaged in the attack.
The family found the headstone missing when paying their respects on what would have been Mrs Jean's 80th birthday on Thursday.
He first reported it stolen to police but was later told the granite stone had been removed by cemetery staff to be repaired.
Mr Jean said: "It looks as though some of the stones were kicked over, one of which was my mum's.
"It's immoral and shows a complete lack of respect for other people.
"To do this in a cemetery and knock other people's gravestones over is beyond belief."
Russell King, of Newton Ferrers, whose parents' Brenda and David's grave was chipped and strewn with debris from the vandalism, said: "It's disgusting. My sister phoned me to say the cemetery called her to let her know what happened. I went down to see.
"I can't believe it. It's disgraceful. You know people do this, that and the other, but you have to be respectful."
Police are appealing for witnesses to the criminal damage or anyone with information to contact them.
A police spokesman said: "We received reports of considerable criminal damage to gravestones in Efford Cemetery.
"It took place some time between 7pm on October 3 and 7am on the 4th, most likely on the evening of the 3rd.
"This is obviously extremely distressing for the families concerned and we would very much like to hear from anyone who has information about the incident or witnessed anyone acting suspiciously on that evening in the cemetery."
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police on 101, quoting crime reference EC/12/9516.
Alternatively, witnesses can call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.