1. ITV Report

Mother's heartbreak as baby's grave vandalised for the third time

The grave of a baby who died at just six weeks old, after being born with only half a heart, has been vandalised for the third time in 27 years.

Maggie Thompson says the disturbance of her daughter Siobhan's grave in Darlington's North Road Cemetery, has left her devastated.

Siobhan died in 1991 at just six weeks old Credit: Family photo

Maggie was alerted to the incident on the 17th April after seeing a post on social media, where a woman claimed she had seen children playing in the cemetery, pulling up weeds and 'throwing things from a child's grave'.

She said, she had a gut instinct that she knew it was Siobhan's grave.

Her cross had been kicked over, the little rose bush, that had been ripped up. There are some if her little keepsakes are missing.

The glass vase that was there, that had been kicked over, smashed, the flowers missing. You just think,

"What goes through people's minds. Why, what sort of satisfaction do they get of doing something like this?"

– Maggie Thompson

Siobhan's family say they continue to take comfort from the fact she leaves a lasting legacy. They say her case helped doctors to make significant advances in treatment of her heart condition helping other children to live longer.

In a statement, Darlington Council, which is responsible for the cemetery, said its sympathy goes out to the Thompson family. It added that the cemetery is staffed until later afternoon and larger gates are locked at night but it is an area that is difficult to police. It's urging anyone who sees any damage being done to contact the police.

Durham Police have described the vandalism as a despicable crime and have asked anyone who may have seen what happened here on the afternoon of the17th of April to contact them.