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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Vandals smash graves at cemetery
Damaged gravestones
Keepsakes were scattered around the cemetery
Vandals have smashed gravestones and destroyed flowers and mementoes at a cemetery in Greater Manchester.

The damage was discovered by staff at Farnworth Cemetery in Bolton when they arrived for work on Saturday morning.

Greater Manchester Police said about 60 headstones were damaged and keepsakes had been scattered around the scene.

A police spokesman said he was "frankly disgusted that someone could commit a crime of such a thoughtless and disrespectful nature".

Such an act causes untold emotional damage
Supt Andy Durkin
Supt Andy Durkin said: "Words cannot describe the devastation that has occurred here, a place where people come to grieve and mourn the loss of their loved ones.

"Such an act causes untold emotional damage to the friends and relatives of those buried here, not to mention the financial cost which clearing the cemetery and repairing the gravestones is likely to incur," he said.

"Some of the damaged gravestones are more than 200 years old and probably impossible to replace.

"I really find it hard to believe that people could commit such an offence and we will be deploying many resources to ensure that we catch the people responsible and bring them to justice.

"I can only hope that this will offer some comfort to those people affected by this crime."

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

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