Family’s anguish at damaged memorial

Scott Stringfellow and his father Jason Stringfellow at the site of the memorial
Scott Stringfellow and his father Jason Stringfellow at the site of the memorial
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A family has been left heartbroken after yobs vandalised a cherished memorial to a late teenager.

Plant pots were broken and pushed over at the site dedicated to Gareth Stringfellow, 18, who died in June 2012.

The culprits even tried to steal precious pictures of the former Kendal Town footballer.

His family think the incident happened between 8.30am and 1pm last Wednesday.

It is the second time the memorial, by a railway bridge in Coppull, has been targeted.

Previously, vandals tore up personal letters that had been left there by his friends.

Distraught father Jason, of Doris Street, Chorley, said: “I was very upset that I found out this had happened again.

“I got a phone call off my dad last Wednesday telling me it had happened.

“It made me feel sick that this had happened, but I won’t be beaten by these people and I’ll always make sure something will be at the scene to remember him by.”

News of the damage has been met with disgust on memorial groups set up on Facebook for Gareth.

And Jason, 42, thinks it takes the “lowest of the low” to do what they have done.

He added: “There is one thing you don’t do in life and that is disrespect the dead it takes the lowest of the low to do that.”

Coun Matthew Crow, ward councillor for Coppull, said: “I want to send a very clear message to whoever has done this.

“Your depravity and your disregard for the life of a talented and popular young member of our community and the grieving family and friends he has left behind knows no bounds.

“I hope that in your moments of quiet you reflect on what you have done and come to see your actions for what they are.”

An inquest recorded an open verdict on Gareth, who died after being hit by a train on the tracks at Coppull in June 2012.