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Graves dug up in the dead of night at church in Hoo

Graves dug up
Graves dug up

by Lynn Cox and Jenni Horn

Police are investigating after graves were mysteriously dug up in a village churchyard.

Two graves were disturbed over three nights in the grounds of Hoo St Werburgh Parish Church, in Vicarage Lane, Hoo.

The first plot was discovered by a parishioner last Monday and reported to church warden Mick Hollands.

It had been dug about 18in deep.

When Mr Hollands made another inspection of the churchyard on Tuesday, he discovered the mystery digger had been back overnight and the hole was even deeper.

Mr Hollands said: "The hole was twice as deep and a bit longer and a bit wider. The earth was scattered all around it."

Grave dug up
Grave dug up

The police were called and the family of the deceased were informed and the grave was filled back in.

Then on Thursday morning, Mr Hollands discovered another grave had been dug up. This time the earth had been left in a neat pile a few feet from the grave.

In both instances the gravestones and coffins have not been damaged but Mr Hollands said it is still very upsetting for the families, who have asked not to be identified.

He said: "The two graves, which date to 2005 and 2007, are unrelated. We just cant understand it.

"We have no clue why anyone would want to do this. It's very distressing for us and for the families of the deceased.

"Whoever is doing it is walking though the village in the middle of the night with a spade in their hand, as each grave has been dug with one.

"We just want it to stop, whoever is doing it is causing a lot of distress. It is senseless vandalism, what they are in fact doing is desecrating a grave."

Kent Police has confirmed they are investigating the incidents.

Neighbourhood officer PC Mick O'Meara said: "The holes will now be filled in and officers will be carrying out regular patrols in the area over the coming nights.

"Obviously actions such as this are illegal and can cause great distress to the families involved."

Anyone with information should contact Kent Police on 01622 690 690.

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