Families and businesses have come together to put up a reward to try to find the yobs responsible for vandalising graves at Chatham Cemetery.
Relatives were distraught to find their loved ones’ graves had been desecrated in the trail of destruction in June.
Headstones were broken and ornaments thrown and smashed. The yobs also went to the children’s section of the site, tearing up flowers and setting light to them and to cuddly toys left on babies’ graves.
The Chatham Cemetery Trust has been raising money to get a reward to catch the vandals
Richard Stoneman and his wife Tracey found their son’s grave had been affected. Baby Richard died 25 years ago when he was just 10 hours old.
Mr Stoneman was so affected by what happened at the cemetery and frustrated that no one has been arrested or charged in relation to the crime, he and his friends went on a fundraising mission to raise enough money to offer a reward.
With the help of several pubs and businesses in the Towns, the group, which are calling themselves The Chatham Cemetery Trust, have now managed to raise £500 for information leading to the conviction of the culprits.
Mr Stoneman said: “Three pubs, The White Lion in Chatham, The Ship Inn, in Rochester and the George Vaults, also in Rochester, allowed me to organise raffles to raise money for the reward.
Damage from last week's vandalism attack at Chatham Cemetery
“My friends and family have also been selling roses in pubs in the evenings. I must thank Slinders of Rochester and A Flower wholesalers, in Chatham, who let us have the flowers at a good deal and my friends, the landlords and my family for helping out.
Mr Stoneman is also organising another fundraising event at the Ship Inn on September 28, but that initiative is to help raise money people who can’t afford to have damaged graves repaired.
If no one comes forward with information leading to a conviction and claims the reward, the £500 will be put towards repairs.
Police investigating the vandalism at the site say their inquiries are continuing but as yet, no one has been arrested.
Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting XY/18563/13 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.