Disgusting’ thieves have stolen a dozen expensive paving flags from a memorial for murdered soldier Lee Rigby.The old Yorkstone slabs were taken from the cenotaph and surrounding gardens in the Rhodes area of Middleton. The gardens are home to a bronze drum and plaque to remember the 25-year-old Fusilier, who was hacked to death on the street in Woolwich, London, by terrorists.
The theft was discovered by council gardener Steven Morrow when he turned up for work at the Manchester Old Road site last Wednesday, July 13. He said: “For thieves to target a cenotaph, especially one as high profile as this because it’s home to the Lee Rigby memorial, is absolutely disgusting.
“Some people have no regard for anything. I can’t believe they took them from the Lee Rigby memorial though, it’s out of order. Churches and Cenotaphs, they are areas you shouldn’t be taking anything from, but in this day and age I suppose people would do it, because they have. It was about a dozen that they have taken altogether.”Mr Morrow, 55, added: “They are big, old, quality stones. I don’t know exactly how much they cost but they are very expensive. It would take two men to carry one.” A Rochdale council spokesperson confirmed the theft has been reported to police and said they have cleared the site to make sure it is safe and are looking into replacing the stones.