South Scotland

Jail for 'callous' Kirkcudbright cemetery vandals

Dumfries Sheriff Court
Image caption Dumfries Sheriff Court heard that the offence occurred only weeks after they were released on bail

Two men have each been jailed for 35 months after they admitted causing more than £50,000 worth of damage at Kirkcudbright Cemetery.

Christopher Frost, 22, and Alexander McIntosh, 19, admitted pushing over and damaging 47 headstones on 21/22 June.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb said it had been "a callous rampage" and told the pair they had broken the "heart and soul of the community".

But the sheriff added that the local community was "strong".

Sheriff Robb also said he hoped there would not be any "retribution or vigilante justice" when Frost and McIntosh were released from prison.

"The community has expressed its horror and the Crown has properly brought you to the courts," he said.

"The sentence which I give is on behalf of the community and I trust that it will be an end to this, although the community has a right to be angry."

Cans of cider

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard that the offence occurred only weeks after Frost and McIntosh had been released on bail.

Some of the headstones in the cemetery, which attracts hundreds of visitors each year, dated back to 1649.

It contains graves of Covenanters, artists and people of national importance.

The court heard that police traced the two men within a few hours of the vandalism after finding empty cans of cider in the graveyard.

Expressed remorse

They traced them to a local supermarket where Frost was seen making three purchases within the space of four hours.

The pair, who admitted the offence, said they had been drunk and expressed remorse at their actions.

The court heard McIntosh had written to the community expressing his regret and was now willing to accept help for his alcohol problems.

In addition to the prison sentence, Frost was also put on probation for three years following his release.

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