A MUM who endured the heartbreak of giving birth to a stillborn baby has hit out at yobs for vandalising the graveyard where her son is buried.
Fiona Tindall and her husband Marcus were devastated when they lost their baby – their first son – 19 years ago.
They named the baby Sean and had him buried at the Garden of Remembrance at St Mark’s Parish Church in Longwood.
Fiona had visited her little boy’s grave every day to lay fresh flowers and talk to him silently but was devastated to find that yobs had trashed the graveyard.
Now Kirklees Council have closed off part of the site on safety grounds, after the yobs toppled over a heavy marble headstone.
The mum-of-three has hit back at the heartless vandals, slamming their behaviour as sacrilege.
Fiona, 48, said: “It’s absolutely disgusting what these mindless thugs have done. Not only do they have no respect for the living but now it seems they have started on the dearly departed.
“For those of us who have lost loved ones it is devastating, these yobs are taking away things that are there to remind us of those who are no longer with us– they’re stealing our memories and it’s sacrilege.”
When Fiona was expecting her second child 19 years ago, she was excited at the prospect of having a baby brother for her eldest daughter Chloe, now 21, to play with.
She and her husband Marcus, a joiner, made a nursery in their home as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their little bundle of joy. But tragedy stuck when their baby arrived stillborn in hospital.
Fiona, who has lived in Longwood for 23 years, said: “We were both devastated, it was really tragic to have to go through labour but then come home with a stillborn baby.
“What made it especially hard was the fact that we had a little boy and we’d always wanted one of each. Later Liam, who’s now 17, came along, but he didn’t replace Sean and we still think of him all the time and I visit him every morning to tidy around his grave and talk to him.
“At the time when he died I sought comfort in my family and friends and I started going to church quite a bit.
“What these yobs have done makes me feel so sad. I lost my son in tragic circumstances and what they have done has revived my own painful memories of loss– I’m sure that the other people with family buried in the graveyard will feel the same.
“They are playing with the dead and that’s dreadful and so disrespectful. I wish they would attend a bereavement class just so they can see the upset and the pain that people who have lost loved ones go though and then they might think again about what they are doing.”
The vandalism on the graveyard is just the latest in a spate of attacks on the church over the last 18 months.
The stained glass windows have been smashed, lead has been stripped from the roof and the outdoor toilets have been trashed.
Mrs Norma Jones is pastoral minister for the church while her husband Reg is a bell ringer and runs the youth groups. She said: “It’s appalling, it’s been going on for months now and it’s going to cost the church thousands to repair everything.
“This latest attack is just horrendous. Somebody’s been toppling a gravestone over and then going back and doing it again every time we try to put it back in its place. The area has now been cordoned off by Kirklees Council until it is repaired because it’s too dangerous to walk on.
“But this is sacrilege. There are people still alive that visit that graveyard and it’s an awful thing for them to have to see.”