Heart-breaking photos show how “mindless” vandals destroyed memorial benches by burning barbecues on top



The bench was left charred and burnt (Image: Claire Sharma)

SHOCKING images show how “mindless” park goers vandalised memorial benches by burning barbecues on them.

The benches, located in Leeds, West Yorkshire, were defaced over the weekend by revelers who left the bench burnt and marked.

One of those damaged was a tribute to local Tony Sharma, who died three years ago aged 37.

Pictures show the scorched bench which has been left with a huge black stain next to Tony’s memorial plaque.

The damaged bench was discovered by Tony’s sister Claire Sharma on Saturday.

Tony with sister Claire (Image: Claire Sharma)

She posted on Facebook shortly after saying: “Does anyone know about this please? Absolutely disgusting mindless vandalism.

“Hope you enjoyed your 59p burgers while burning my brother’s memorial bench.”

The images have angered many in the comments.

Miki Dawson said: “Absolute idiots, so upsetting, some people have no common sense.”

Natalie Hunter added: “Just a***holes. It’s clear to see that it’s a memorial bench. Bloody scum!”

Susan Robinson Leadstone wrote: “Oh my God how bloody disrespectful. Some people have no shame. I’m so angry for you all.”

Memorial plaque
The family regularly visit Tony’s bench (Image: Claire Sharma)

Amanda Jane said: “How horrible, I’m so sorry Claire! Totally disrespectful! I hope you can repair it somehow!”

Susan Lines added: “That’s outrageous! How could someone do such a terrible thing.”

Claire Snellgrove wrote: “I’m so appalled to see this. So disrespectful. I’m so sorry, must have been an awful shock for you.”

Another bench located in Otley Chevin woods also appears to have been damaged in the same way.

Photos were posted to the public group ‘Leedsplace’ yesterday [MON]with the caption: “Another memorial bench damaged by people having BBQ.”

DIY repair of bench
The bench was restored by family friend Kenny Harrison (Image: Claire Sharma)

The images show a similarly scorched and burnt memorial bench.

Speaking today, hair and beauty salon owner Claire said: “Me and my friend Miki saw it on Saturday. Friends and family visit the bench regularly so we figured it was recent.

“When I posted on Facebook for information I had a few messages saying they saw a couple sitting behind and having a BBQ on the bench.

“It’s a great view at the bench, probably watching the sunset.

“We were just in disbelief, I hadn’t been there for a while so we tried to figure out who would do this and how disrespectful. On a memorial bench! Which it clearly states.

Burnt bench
The damage is thought to have been caused by a barbecue (Image: Claire Sharma)

“We thought we would have to have it replaced. We didn’t think it could be fixed. We were more distraught about who would do this stupidity!”

Claire said it was difficult for her to inform her parents about the vandalism.

She added: “I couldn’t just call them to tell them, it’s one of those times when you have to go in person and tell them to their face.

“He passed away three years ago so it is still very raw.”

Claire confirmed that she had since managed to restore the bench with the help of family friend, Kenny Harrison.