Son's grave repeatedly targeted by vandals in Basingstoke cemetery

A grieving mother is calling for more security to be put in place at a Basingstoke cemetery after her son's grave was repeatedly targeted by vandals.

Claire Ridgers says toys and teddy bears have been taken, and lights on the grave in Worting Road cemetery were smashed.

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Every time Claire Ridgers visits her son Leo's grave, she fears what she might find.

It's been vandalised several times in the last four months, leaving the family distraught.

This is what Leo's grave used to look like.

Leo's grave was covered in toys and flowers Credit: Claire Ridgers

Police have advised Claire to leave it empty, except for a note asking the perpetrators to stop.

As well as informing the police, Claire has reported the vandalism to Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council who look after the cemetery, but she fears if nothing's done about it, she may have to exhume Leo's coffin.

We are aware of the incidents and have reported them to the police and our own Community Safety Patrol Officers who are increasing patrols in the area. We lock the gates to the cemetery at night and our cemetery staff remain vigilant to this anti-social and distressing behaviour.

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council

Having taken to social media to raise awareness of the vandalism, Claire has been overwhelmed with support from complete strangers, including the family of another little boy called Leo who sent her some of his toys to put on the grave.

Another boy called Leo sent Claire his toy to put on the grave Credit: Claire Ridgers
Leo's grave is bare without gifts and flowers Credit: ITV Meridian

It's hoped with the police now involved and increased patrols in the area, the vandals will stop but Claire is urging anyone who sees anything suspicious at the cemetery to report it.