Thursday, December 9, 2010
Vandals Desecrate Dad's Grave
Mary White, along with family and friends, buried her late father Thomas Lydon, of Jarrow, on Monday afternoon at Jarrow Cemetery, and left floral tributes at his graveside.
But when the 63-year-old, of Wilton Gardens, Boldon Colliery, returned to the cemetery on Tuesday morning, she found the heads from the lettered tribute to her father had been pulled off and stomped onto the ground.
Mrs White and four of her five sisters – Anne Mirfin, 61, Sheila Lydon, 58, Christine Lydon-Carlile, 47, and Pauline Lydon, 45 – had paid for the flowers and had each bought their own bouquets.
She said: "I was absolutely devastated. I was in a state in tears at the grave.
"I rang my youngest sister to tell her and it broke my heart. I'm mortified – how could anyone do that?
"He was our dad and we loved him. The flowers were a symbol for him to show how much we cared.
"How low can people get by desecrating a grave? I can't believe it, and it wasn't an accident – it was a deliberate act."
Mr Lydon died on November 28 from lung cancer, aged 87. The cancer was diagnosed in July this year, but he quickly deteriorated in the following months despite a brave battle against the disease and undergoing 12 sessions of radiotherapy.
Mrs White added: "He showed great strength and dignity – he didn't complain."
The family have now contacted police as they have an idea who could have targeted the graveside.
A Northumbria Police spokesman confirmed they were investigating the matter and said: "This is a particularly reprehensible crime which has caused distress to the family.
"I'd urge any witnesses or anyone with information to contact us."