VANDALS who smashed graves in Worthing beyond repair have been described as “sick individuals”.
The graveyard of Christ Church in Grafton Road was targeted at the weekend by vandals who left a trail of destruction.
About 10 graves were damaged in total – some headstones were unearthed from the ground while others were smashed to pieces.
Worthing historian Chris Hare was one of the first people to discover the damage.
He said: “I was walking along Grafton Road and saw one of the headstones toppled over.
“I looked closer and it looked like an earthquake had hit – several graves were on their sides.
“It’s appalling vandalism.”
Chris added: “I want to know what possesses people to be so disrespectful.
“It could have been people on a drunken rampage or perhaps, more sinister, someone who wants to deliberately attack graves.”
Former Worthing mayor Tom Wye, who for the last few years has been helping to restore graves at Broadwater Cemetery, said he thought the vandalism in Christ Church’s burial ground was “inexcusable”.
He said: “What possible reason can these sick individuals have for causing such awful damage? It sickens me.”
MP for Worthing West Sir Peter Bottomley, whose Worthing home is opposite the church, said he thought the damage was terrible, describing tombstones as “demonstrations of eternal love”.
Police believe the damage was caused between noon on Saturday, February 12 and 9.30am on Sunday, February 13, but house-to-house enquiries have not revealed further details.
Ralph Waters, church warden, said: “This vandalism is just so unnecessary. Those tombstones were erected in memorial of loved ones.
“No doubt the people who did this have relatives buried in graveyards – they wouldn’t want this sort of destruction done to their own ancestors’ graves. People should hold graveyards in respect.”