By Connie Osborne Friday 16 August 2013 Updated: 16/08 13:27
A HEARTBROKEN mother has vowed vandals who damaged her son’s memorial plaque ‘will not win’.
The wooden tribute on Church Hill Way in memory of Ellis Smith, who lost his life there in July 2008 after his bike and a bus collided, was targeted this week for a second time.
The plinth was removed and broken between 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Monday (August 12) while flowers which spelled out his name to mark the fifth anniversary of his death were found strewn about nearby.
But mum Julie Headley said she would replace the memorial at the site to remember the Church Hill Middle School pupil, who died just two days after his tenth birthday.
“My daughter phoned me and told me Ellis’ plaque had gone and the flowers had been picked out and thrown,” she told the Standard.
“I was beside myself. I just can’t understand why someone would do this. He was so well liked and popular, it makes no sense.
“Whoever did this must have also kicked it as it now wobbles in the ground and is loose. We can’t even find the plaque, it’s gone, so we don’t even know where it is. It’s just heartbreaking.
“I have to catch the bus at the bottom of the road and look away when I pass it now because I just can’t bear to look at it.”
She added the family - including sisters Kim and Roux, now 25 and 19, and younger brother Brooklyn, now ten - had another memorial there before which had also been targeted by vandals, who ripped a picture of Ellis off the tribute.
“I just want people to leave it alone. If it happened to them how would they feel if it was the person they loved?
“We will never get over what’s happened to us, but things like this just make it so much harder.
“I don’t care care how many times they damage it, I will keep putting it back. They won’t stop us, they won’t win.”
West Mercia Police officers investigating the incident said the force was determined to bring those responsible to justice.
PC Jon Watts said: “Ellis’ mother and family are very upset and apparently this is not the first time it has happened. She cannot understand why anyone would want to attack a plaque dedicated to the memory of her son who passed away in such tragic circumstances.
“It really is an unpleasant, awful offence and there is absolutely no need for it.
“Criminal damage of this nature will not be tolerated and we are anxious to hear from anyone who may have seen it happening or knows who did it.
He added a number of youths were seen in the area shortly before the damage was discovered.
Anyone with any information should call police on 101, quoting incident reference number 337-S-130813, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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