NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Four teenagers charged over Elgin grave vandalism

Vandalised headstone in Elgin
Image caption The graveyard vandalism was described as a "mindless" act by the authorities

Four youths have been charged after headstones were toppled at a Moray graveyard.

About 50 headstones at Elgin Cemetery were vandalised last week in what was described as a "mindless" act.

Grampian Police said four boys - two aged 14 and two aged 15 - had been charged.

Pc Thomas Toner, the officer dealing with the case, said: "Our inquiries are continuing and it is likely that this number will increase."

The force said the vandalism was a "dreadful" crime and that the community had been "rightfully shocked".

Locals and the media were thanked for their assistance after earlier appeals for information.

The oldest date on the damaged headstones is 1882, and many others are more than 100 years old.

Moray Council has launched a nationwide online appeal for surviving relatives to come forward.

The headstones will be made safe, but will not be repaired or re-erected until contact is made with relatives.

The local authority is asking lair holders or relatives to contact Margaret Smith on 01343 557058 or at margaret.smith@moray.gov.uk.

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