South East Wales

Maesteg cemetery graves damaged by vandals in car

the damage to graves at Maesteg cemetery Image copyright Louise Carpanini
Image caption Two graves were damaged in the incident

"Mindless" vandals in cars have caused damaged to graves at a south Wales cemetery.

Police patrols have been stepped up in Maesteg after two memorials were hit at the town's cemetery.

They include a memorial to a man called Giovanni Carpanini who was one of 53 Welsh Italians to die in the Arandora Star prison ship in 1940.

Insp Ross Crutcher said the "senseless vandalism" was caused by someone with "little regard for grieving families".

Image copyright Louise Carpanini
Image caption Mr James said the cemetery gates were not locked at night

Louise Carpanini said her husband Andrew's family memorial had been torn apart in the apparent collision.

"It's terrible, I could have cried, to think of all the people there. It's been totally torn apart, it's even taken it down to the wire in the cement," she said.

David James, who runs Marmor Memorials next to the site, said the vehicle responsible must also have been badly damaged.

He said: "One [grave] was a full-length memorial made of Italian marble and is in one of the old sections of the cemetery.

"It was one of my customer's family graves - it had to be struck by a heavy vehicle to do that type of damage."

The cemetery gates are not locked at night and Bridgend council said that was to allow people with mobility issues easy access to the graves.

A spokesman added: "It is not clear whether the damage occurred during the day or night, but the alternative to the current arrangements would be to keep the cemetery gates locked and only open them when funerals are taking place."

South Wales Police are investigating.

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