A widower has spoken of his anger and disbelief after visiting his wife’s grave and finding dozens of gravestones pushed over and smashed.
Anthony Rickman, from Fulham , described the scene which greeted him as he drove into North Sheen Cemetery on Sunday (August 14) “a war zone” and described the culprits as “worse than scum”.
He described one family who came to visit a loved one’s final resting place only to find it had been damaged as “totally devastated”.
He said: “I felt so sorry for them. What kind of people would do something like this?"
Police have confirmed they are investigating and say there appears to be no motivation for the criminal damage.
The incident follows a similar one last year where statues in a Margravine Cemetery in Fulham were repaired and returned to their former glory after being damaged during a string of night-time attacks.
Mr Rickman’s wife Vicky was buried there in 2009. He went to visit the grave at around 2pm and was stunned with what he saw.
"I saw one on its back, and then another, and then another and then I realised what had happened," he said.
“It was like a war zone. The place looks absolutely devastated. I think I counted up to 47 and then I stopped counting.
“A lot of them have been smashed and cracked. It’s crazy.
“The grave next to my wife’s was damaged and the family turned up. They were devastated. I felt so sorry for them.
“I was fortunate, but I’d be devastated if that had happened to me.”
And Mr Rickman thinks those responsible are old enough to know better. He said: “These weren’t young kids. To push those gravestone over you’d need to have a little bit about you. You need strength to do what they did.
“They must have been old enough to have some intelligence. I can’t think of the words for the people that did it. What kind of people would do this?
“It beggars belief. I’d I called them scum but I think they’re worse than that.
“It really was a sorry old site. Some of the older graves I don’t think you can repair. I feel so sorry for the people affected.”
A spokesman for Met Police said officers were called to the cemetery at around 9.50am on Sunday and found a large number of gravestones damaged.
Mr Rickman saw officers checking for prints on the headstone, and Richmond CID were at the scene.
No arrests have been made.
H&F says a memorial mason will attend the cemetery this week with a view to re-setting those memorials pushed over and repair those that were damaged.
A spokesperson said staff there are recording the number of memorials damaged and will be writing to the grave owners advising them of the vandalism and that steps are being taken to remedy the vandalism.
Council Leader Stephen Cowan said: “This was an appalling act and our hearts go out to the families affected. We will do everything we can to catch the mindless vandals and we appeal for any information that might help the police.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Reports of vandalism at graveyards is nothing new on getwestlondon. A statue of Madonna and Child was beheaded a year after being replaced in Fulham in 2014.