Thursday 23 November 2017

Vandals target white horse monument

National Trust wardens have repaired the damage to the White Horse monument.
National Trust wardens have repaired the damage to the White Horse monument.

An ancient monument has been defaced by vandals who sprayed it with purple paint.

The head and eye of the White Horse at Uffington, the oldest chalk figure in the country, was defaced in the attack.

A banner found at the Oxfordshire monument read: "Fathers 4 justice stop the secret family courts."

National Trust wardens have now repaired the damage to the figure, which had been re-chalked last weekend by local volunteers. Sergeant Steve Clark said: "The monument has been pretty much restored now and is back to how it should look. This was a mindless act of criminal damage on an ancient monument and I would urge anyone with information about the incident to come forward and speak to us as soon as possible."

Police recovered evidence from the scene after being alerted to the crime by a member of the public. They said the damage was limited to the horse's head.

Richard Henderson of the National Trust said: "We are appalled by this act of mindless vandalism to one of the country's most famous ancient monuments. It is particularly sad as only last weekend members of the public helped re-chalk the horse as part of a traditional community volunteering event."

The original group called Fathers 4 Justice was closed down in 2008. New Fathers 4 Justice and Real Fathers for Justice have both denied responsibility for the stunt.

Mike Kelly of Real Fathers for Justice said: "We condemn any criminal damage to historic monuments and criticise the individuals who have done this."

A spokesman for New Fathers 4 Justice added: "We don't know who has done this. We think it was probably some random fathers who have been denied access from seeing their children in the secret family courts.

"They are obviously angry and have used the Fathers 4 Justice name to front their protest."

Press Association

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