Thugs Attack Baby Memorial


Baby memorial vandal

By Alexander Lawrie

HEARTLESS vandals have desecrated a babies’ memorial in a “deplorable” attack.

Thugs smashed commemorative vases and ripped a statue of a baby from its plinth before discarding it nearby leaving grieving parents “devastated”.

The baby garden at Dunfermline Crematorium in Fife is a special area reserved for families to remember their infants.

And heartbroken parents have now cancelled plans to decorate the garden area with Christmas decorations fearing the vandals will return.

The baby memorial was set up by the SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths) charity in 2005.

Attacked twice last weekend, the memorial garden was targeted again on Wednesday evening when the callous yobs smashed another baby statue to pieces.

Jo-Anna Fraser, Fife co-ordinator for SANDS, said: “A local couple, whose son died a year ago, were at the baby garden last week to mark their child’s anniversary and they saw the statue was missing.

“Some people had given them flowers to place in the garden, but when the couple returned these items were also missing.

“They have been left devastated by this happening at what was a very difficult time for them.

“As parents we have very little to remember our children by and that is why the baby garden is so important.

“It is some recognition that our babies existed.

“We had planned to put up some Christmas decorations but it probably won’t happen now because it would too upsetting if they were vandalised.”

Baby memorial vandal

William Greig, a Bereavement Services Officer at the crematorium, admitted it was the first case of vandalism he had heard about at the crematorium in over ten years.

He also revealed the £600 SANDS statue of the baby in an open palm was still missing.

He said: “It is incredibly rare for this to happen, but nonetheless it is a totally abhorrent action.

“I can’t stress enough how badly we feel about the vandalism. It’s not the cost of the statue that bothers us, but it’s the cost to the families who discovered the mess.

“I’m in touch with the police to see if they can arrange for the community police to make extra visits to the area at night.”

Robert Baker, Temporary Superintendent of Fife Police, said: “To commit such a crime in an area which has such great meaning is an absolutely deplorable act.

“Those responsible should be ashamed of themselves and their actions.

“I would ask anyone who knows who committed these acts to contact police.”

In a separate incident another Fife family were left distraught when a memorial to their late mother was set on fire.

A Rosyth family visited the crematorium last Sunday to pay their respects, but were left in tears when they discovered cards, flowers and vases had been set on fire.

Alyson Gardner said: “I was just so grateful it wasn’t my dad whi had gone up, butv the worse thing was having to tell him what had happened as I knew how much it would upset him.

“I don’t know what kind of idiots would do something like this and how they’ve been brought up.”

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