POLL: Gravesite graffiti ‘a very low act’

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Horror was Christine Turner’s first reaction when she saw that her father’s grave had been defaced.

REMEMBERING: the late Ivan Roy Turner whose headstone was vandalised.

REMEMBERING: the late Ivan Roy Turner whose headstone was vandalised.

Ms Turner was visiting the resting place of Ivan Roy Turner with her foster sister Michelle Nicholson on Friday afternoon when they ­discovered graffiti had been spray-painted all over the headstone.

“I just burst into tears, I was absolutely horrified,” Ms Turner said.

“I can’t think of anybody who would want to do it for personal reasons and no other grave sites were ­affected.”

Mr Turner died 26 years ago at the age of 49 when a brain aneurism caused a cerebral haemorrhage.

Ms Turner described her father, who grew up in the Maitland region, as a fun-­loving, family man who loved scuba diving and archery.

He worked a number of jobs during his life including a stint as the station hand at Maitland Railway Station.

Ms Turner, a former Hunter resident, moved to Perth 16 months ago but was in town for the funeral of another family member last week when she took the opportunity to visit her father’s grave at Campbells Hill in Telarah.

“How would they like it if their families were disrespected in some way?

“I really wish people would think about how this affects families.If you haven’t got a ­reason to be in the cemetery then don’t go there.”

It was the first time her father’s grave had been ­vandalised since his death.

But Ms Turner said her grandfather’s headstone was smashed at the same cemetery in a spate of vandalism about 30 years ago.

Central Hunter crime ­manager Detective Inspector John Zdrilic said defacement of grave sites and other monuments such as war memorials was rare in the Maitland region.

“It’s a very low act,” Inspector Zdrilic said.

“Rest assured if I find someone who has been defacing a gravestone I will treat it much more harshly than a kid who has sprayed a tag on a wall.”

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