Memorial Christmas tree vandalised in Scarning, near Dereham

A Christmas tree dedicated to villagers killed in past and recent conflicts has been vandalised in Scarning, near Dereham.

The tree was donated to the St Peter and St Paul Church by the parish council and had been up in the churchyard, near the war memorial, for less than two weeks when it was targeted on Friday.

Lights were pulled from the tree, breaking some of its branches, and all the surrounding Christmas lights were killed when the electrics were damaged.

'It's just mindless vandalism,' said churchwarden Ron Steward. 'We haven't even got into the Christmas period yet.

'The parish clerk is going to put up a notice stating what the tree represents and we hope they will appreciate it - some of them would not be here without the people who gave their lives in the two world wars.'

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This is the first time Scarning Parish Council has put Christmas lights up around the village and permanent electrical connections were installed so a tree could be placed in the churchyard every year.

Vice chairman Michael Steward added: 'It's a sad reflection of the way society is today. The lights will be replaced and we will have to be more vigilant to make sure it doesn't happen again.'

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It is thought the vandals struck between 3pm and 10pm on Friday and the damage was spotted when residents leaving the village hall noticed the churchyard was in darkness.

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