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Thursday, July 30, 1998 Published at 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK


Gardner grave vandalised

Joy Gardner died four days after being restrained

The grave of Joy Gardner, the illegal immigrant who died after being bound and gagged by police officers, has been vandalised.

It is the fifth anniversary of the incident which led to her death.

The mother-of-two died four days after being restrained as she was being served with a deportation order on 28 July 1993.

Family shocked

Her mother, Myrna Simpson said: "These people are wicked and evil."

The Joy Gardner Memorial Campaign said orange paint had been sprayed over the headstone at a cemetery in north London.

"The family are shocked and saddened by this vicious and cowardly attack," said a spokesman.

Police have confirmed they are treating the desecration as a racial incident due to the fact that Mrs Gardner's was the only headstone in the graveyard to be attacked.

'Deeply disturbing'

Claude Moraes, director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: "This is deeply disturbing and upsetting not only for the family but for many other members of the ethnic minority community.

"It will particularly affect those whose own residential status is vulnerable."

"The people who did this are either organised or opportunist but either way they are deeply inadequate and sad individuals," he said.

He also expressed concern about the "culture of disbelief" within the Home Office and immigration services.

"These attitudes will not change overnight and cannot change dramatically over a year or so of new government," he said.

In 1995 three officers were found not guilty of the manslaughter of Mrs Gardner.

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