Graves 'smashed to pieces' and 'burned' by vandals in Stretford Cemetery

Credit: MEN Media

Families have been left devastated after vandals 'smashed a child's grave to pieces' and 'burned' others at a cemetery in south Manchester.More than 30 headstones are believed to have been damaged at Stretford Cemetery in recent weeks.Sculptures and ornaments have been ripped from some while one man said two graves belonging to his loved ones had suffered fire damage after having been 'burned'.One grave, belonging to a young family member, was also 'smashed into tiny little pieces' during a spate of vandalism last weekend, he said.

Some of the graves were allegedly burned by vandals. Credit: MEN Media

"It's disgusting," said the man. "It's horrible to think someone would do that, especially to target a child's grave."What would go through someone's mind to do this? It's almost sadistic. This is a place where people go to pay their respects."

Vicki O'Sullivan said an angel sculpture was smashed from her mother's headstone.

Ms O'Sullivan's husband, who is a groundsman at the cemetery, first discovered damage to a number of graves on 14 May.After she took to Facebook to warn people, other families discovered that their loved ones' resting places had also been targeted.

"It's soul-destroying," said Ms O'Sullivan. "People are so angry and upset."There's no words that can explain what families are going through and the sense of devastation we have seen. Some of these items are years old and can't be replaced."The whole weekend has just been dealing with families who are absolutely broken-hearted. We've had grown men crying their eyes out."Somebody knows who is doing this. It's got to be more than one person because it's a big area to go round causing that kind of carnage."