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FAMILY'S SHOCK AT DAMAGE TO GRAVE; Fire scorches monument stone.

Byline: KEVIN CORE

A SON was appalled to find vandals have scorched his mother and father's grave.

Mary-Ann and Martin Cawley died in 1999 and 2000 respectively, leaving 11 children.

Son Tommy Cawley, of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, says the damage was reported to him by a cousin who passed Lockwood Cemetery earlier this week.

Mr Cawley said: "It's a white stone so when my cousin told us parts of it looked black we knew something was wrong.

"I haven't had the heart to go there yet, it's too horrible.

S "My sister tried the lodge at the cemetery to check what had happened, but nobody was there.

"This is a very nice place and nothing like this has happened before, mum has been buried there 11 years."

The black plate at the front of the monument is scorched and there are some burn marks around the base of the stone.

The grave i n i t i a l ly appeared to have been cleaned as the marks do not affect a photo plate w h i c h f o r m s i t s centrepiece.

At the foot of the stone is a circular mark which suggests the fire was inside some form of container.

Mr Cawley has since been informed that the grave has been taken away t o b e m e t i c u l o u s l y cleaned.

He also said that a small statue of the Virgin Mary was taken from the plot.

Mr Cawley added: "The people who did this must be sick.

"To take something from a grave and know that there is a grieving family out there is despicable."

In September, Cherelle Mightly, of Taylor Hill, told the Examiner items had been taken from her daughter's grave at the site. She called for CCTV coverage of the area, but the council said Lockwood Cemetery did not have cameras on the grounds of expense.

A spokesman for the council said: "We have not received any reports of vandalism and we would urge grave owners to report any incidents to cemetery staff. We will look into this incide n t a s a mat t e r o f urgency."

CAPTION(S):

DAMAGED: The fire-scorched memorial stone at the grave of Mary Cawley and Martin Cawley at Lockwood Cemetery (JH030310Ggrave)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2010
Words:392
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