Widow’s horror as husband’s grave is set on fire in Earby

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A SALTERFORTH woman has spoken of her disgust after the grave of her deceased husband was set on fire in Earby Cemetery.

Lesley Norton, of White Leys Close, returned from three weeks away on Monday to find her husband’s grave damaged and discoloured from the fire.

Mrs Norton’s late husband, Peter, was a former teacher at West Craven Technology High School and died in 2004.

A distraught Mrs Norton told the Barnoldswick and Earby Times this is the third time the grave has been vandalised and blamed drunken youths in the cemetery for the blaze.

She said: “I went down with flowers on Monday to find it. I’m devastated somebody could do such a thing. It’s soul destroying, why can’t people just let him rest in peace?

“I can’t take it all in. It’s just completely black, and the little roses and flowers in pots have perished. It’s just awful.

“Something has to be done about the vandals up there. To do that to somebody’s grave is just sick.”

Police are now investigating and are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the incident or any information from regular cemetery visitors to pinpoint a more accurate time to when the incident took place.

They don’t believe the grave is being targeted deliberately but it happens to be adjacent to benches where youths are known to hang about and drink.

Sgt Dave Clark, Colne and West Craven Neighbourhood Supervisor, said: “This is a despicable and disgusting act which has been extremely distressing for the family.

“If it was drunken stupidity then I would appeal for the perpetrator to search their conscience and come forward to the police to make amends.”

Anybody with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.