Think of our family: plea as dad's grave is targeted

Plea as dad and former miner's grave is targeted three times in a year

Walter Stones, with his fathers grave in St. Cuthberts Church cemetary, Shadforth, which has been vandalised. Pic by Paul Norris
Walter Stones, with his fathers grave in St. Cuthberts Church cemetary, Shadforth, which has been vandalised

Vandals have repeatedly targeted the gravestone of a father-of-three who lost his life to cancer.

Kenneth Stones' final resting place has been damaged three times this year, with attacks taking place on Fathers’ Day and the sixth anniversary of his death.

His devastated family last night urged those responsible to consider their actions and stop desecrating the grave.

Kenneth’s son Walter, 47, said: “This is my dad’s resting place. Whoever is doing this needs to stop and think of my family.”

Former miner Kenneth died in 2007 after being diagnosed with cancer. The 72-year-old, from Ludworth, County Durham left wife Bina, son Walter, and daughters Denise and April.

Since Kenneth’s death members of his family have made trips to the cemetery at St Cuthbert’s Church in Shadforth, to visit his grave. They were horrified found they found the headstone had been pushed over three times.

“The first time it happened, in January, we didn’t really think anything of it,” said taxi driver Walter. “But then on Father’s Day me and my mum went down and the headstone had been tipped over.

“Then on my dad’s memorial on Sunday it had been tipped over again.”

The family say the headstone is so large and heavy it would take at least two people to push it over but they have no idea whey anyone would want to do this to them.

“They have got to be targeting us deliberately, but we can’t think why,” Walter continued. “My dad would never say a word to anyone, he was just so laid back.

“He just got on with things and worked hard for his family. And my mum’s one of the quietest people you will meet. She is devastated. She just broke down when she saw what happened.”

PC Jeff Barksby, of Durham Police, is appealing for anyone with any information about the vandalism to get in touch.

He said “This is a callous act which has been very upsetting for Mrs Stones and the family. We are appealing for anyone who may know who has carried out these attacks to contact us.”

Call Durham Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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