Vandals who spray painted homophobic abuse and swear words on walls and windows at a popular gymnastics club have been branded “scum of the earth”.

Staff and parents were shocked and sickened by the graffiti which was daubed on windows, doors and walls at the Pennine Gymnastics Club in Honley and a neighbouring business.

A vandal, or vandals, used red, black and silver paint on glass windows and window frames at the listed building on the Queen Square Business Park.

The vandal also sprayed a ‘tag’ - supposedly the name of the perpetrator - which said ‘DVS’, a name which has previously been linked to graffiti on other buildings in Honley and Holmfirth, including at Holmfirth Cricket Club.

Gymnastics club owner Craig Richardson was forced to close the business for a few hours because he didn’t want parents or children to read the abusive messages left behind.

He said the attack happened between 10.30pm on Thursday and around 5.30am on Friday.

“They have sprayed profanities and symbols on the stone work and the windows. It is going to be difficult to remove.”

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The gymnastics club has since reopened but the temporary closure led to the business losing several hundred pounds, he added.

Parents who turned up with their children for classes were disgusted by what they saw.

“They were shocked and disheartened. We have around 1,000 kids a week coming to our classes, aged from two to 16. The people who did this are absolutely low lifes, they are the scum of the earth.

“This is my business which I have worked to build up for five years. It’s heartbreaking to be honest.”

Mr Richardson said he was worried the vandals would return.

“The worrying thing is will it happen again? What’s to stop them doing it in a week’s time?”

West Yorkshire Police has been informed of the vandal attack.