By Kirsty Topping
SICK vandals trashed the gravesite of a ten-year-old hit-and-run victim before burning a satanic symbol into the grass nearby.
The thugs targeted the grave of Jack Anderson, who died in 2006, and smashed a wooden memorial bench left by the boy’s family.
And on Monday Jack’s horrified family discovered a pentagram, a five sided star often linked to satanic practices, burnt into the ground just a few feet from the headstone.
Jack’s father, Michael, said the attacks at Edinburgh’s Saughton cemetery had been
“We had the bench placed there for Jack about two years ago. This nonsense seems to have been happening in the last month or so, probably since the start of the school holidays.
“It’s very upsetting and we can’t understand why it’s being done.
“We don’t feel as if we are being deliberately targeted.
“The bench for Jack is about the only one up there but I think we should take it away if anything else happens because it’s too much to see when we go to the cemetery.
“It’s an easy target for what is deliberate vandalism. It does make you wonder why people would want to carry out this malicious damage.
“We noticed the pentagram when we visited Jack’s grave on Monday. It must have been done over the weekend.
“Some of the other dried grass looks like it’s been done over the last couple of weeks using some kind of chemical.
“We are hoping that they will be able to replace the turf, not just for jack but for all the people who have plots there.
“We’ve never had any problems with Jack’s grave itself but we’ve been left concerned by what has been happening recently.”
Jack’s grave has been attacked on a number of occasions. It has previously had its legs removed and been smashed against a tree.
The council resorted to cementing it to the ground after it was moved again.
Vandals had previously destroyed much of the grass surrounding graves next to Jack’s and Mr Anderson has contacted cemetery officials to have the area re-turfed.
Jack was knocked down and killed by Isaac Purcell, who was 25 at the time, as he walked home from school.
Purcell’s green Peugeot struck the youngster who was crossing a pedestrian crossing which was showing a green man at the time.
Purcell, who was speeding to get away from police, then drove off without stopping. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to culpable homicide in October 2007.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, the city’s environment leader, said: “This is a despicable act and will be very upsetting to relatives who have family members buried here.
“The council will do everything in our power to help the police catch these mindless vandals. Antisocial behaviour like this should not be tolerated.”
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating after an Edinburgh cemetery was vandalised. Officers were alerted after the soil in and around a number of graves was damaged using a chemical substance.
“Anyone with information that can assist with our investigation is asked to contact police immediately.”