Sick Milton Keynes vandal defaces young man's memorial bench by scratching out his name
It's the second time it's happened, say the family
A sick vandal has twice scratched off a young man's name from a memorial bench treasured by his grieving family.
Jamie Brockwell tragically took his own life at the age of 22, eight years ago. In his memory, there is a bench with an engraved plaque in his favourite childhood spot near Loughton brook.
During the summer his mum Debbie Walker was horrified to discover Jamie's surname had been deliberately obliterated by someone using a sharp implement.
"I couldn't understand why anyone would want to do this. It was awful, but we told ourselves it was a one off and tried not to take it too personally," she said.
Ward Labour councillor Zoe Nolan kindly offered to pay for a new plaque out of her ward budget. The replacement arrived last Sunday and Zoe's husband fixed it in place.
"I think the person must have struck the very next day," said Debbie. "I had a call to say the plaque had been defaced again - in exactly the same way. Once again, the surname has been scratched out.
"This time we are devastated - and really worried. Why would anyone want to do this to my son's name? He was a beautiful soul and everybody loved him. He'd never upset anyone."
Jamie's siblings, who have the same surname, are particularly concerned, said Debbie.
"They think it must be a personal thing, to do with the name. But we can't think of any reason for it. It's just a very strange and extremely hurtful thing for someone to do."
Each criminal damage attack has also caused memories of the initial grief of losing Jamie to come flooding back, she said.
"The bench is near the stepping stone at the brook, where I took the children to play when they were little. It was Jamie's favourite spot and it meant a lot for us to be able to sit on his bench and remember him there. Now it's spoiled it, knowing someone wants to deliberately destroy his name."
The family has put details of the vandalism on social media, describing it as "a pointless act of pure evil" and begging: "Whoever it is, please stop."
Meanwhile Debbie is reporting the criminal damage to police and waiting a while before arranging another replacement plaque.
"We just couldn't bear for it to happen again," she said.
If you see anyone acting suspiciously near Jamie's bench, please call police on 101 or make a report to them online here.
Suicide is preventable and support is available, such as Samaritans’ helpline. When life is difficult, Samaritans are there – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit their website to find your nearest branch.