Heartbreak as vandals target late son’s grave

A WORTHING mother has spoken of her heartbreak after finding her son’s grave had been vandalised.

Sandra Garepo visited Terence Sutcliffe’s grave at Durrington Cemetery last Sunday with her daughter, to find that several china ornaments had been smashed and snow globes had been strewn around the nearby grass.

“I was gutted when I saw what state it was in,” she said.

“It is just heart-breaking to think that people could do something so sick and I just do not know how anyone could do it.

“Terence died in 1979 from blood leukaemia when he was just three years old.

“I go to the grave every week, sometimes two or three times and talk to him and my other three children also visit because it is something that we have always done. He died on News Year’s Day so this is all I need, especially at this time of year.”

Mrs Garepo, of Brighton Road, said that the grave had been targeted on a number of occasions.

She said: “It has happened about six times where we have things stolen from the grave.

“Friends and family tend to put china ornaments on there at special times of the year or on anniversaries. They are not expensive but that is not the point.

“I have even gone down to the police station before now to retrieve items that have been taken. We have reported it to the police a couple of times in the past but we do not seem to get anywhere.

“The difference this time is that everything that was on the grave has been totally smashed to bits.

“I am amazed they did not break the headstone as the globes were very heavy, more like paperweights.

“Terence’s grave is right near the main road, he is the only child’s grave in that part because when he died there was not a children’s part of the cemetery like there is now. The other graves around where he is are all adults so they have no ornaments and I guess his must stand out.

“Stealing is bad enough but to vandalise a grave is awful, it is just a totally sick thing to do.”

Mrs Garepo, a taxi driver, said that she wants the council to take action.

“The council says it cannot afford to put CCTV in there so I wonder how many people will have to put up with this sort of thing in the future.

“There is security but they never go into the cemetery they only lock the gates, and I guess people are finding other ways to get in or are willing to climb over.

“The worrying thing for me is that I never know what I am going to find when I go up to the grave. It is a very special place for me as I go to talk to my son. I just want this to stop.”