Family’s distress after louts vandalise tribute to crash victim

Angry – Richard Garrod on the vandalised bench and inset, accident victim Chris Garrod

Angry – Richard Garrod on the vandalised bench and inset, accident victim Chris Garrod

First published in Echo News by

THE family of a tragic crash victim were devastated after a memorial bench built in his honour was vandalised.

Louts sprayed markings on the back of the bench by Hullbridge Memorial Green, on the corner of Watery Lane and Lower Road, which was installed after Chris Garrod died in February 2007.

Chris, who was aged 21, crashed into an electricity pole in Lower Road, Hullbridge, just yards from his home and died in Queens Hospital, Romford, three days later. Family and friends organised a host of charity football matches in Chris’s memory to raise money for the Burned Children’s Club, as well as about £900 for the bench.

His father, Richard Garrod, 65, of The Priories, Hullbridge, said: “I don’t like graffiti anyway, but given what the memorial stands for, it is upsetting.

“There is a plaque on there, so the person who did it was fully aware of the circumstances of the bench.

“With what happens overall these days, nothing surprises me. At least it lasted seven years before it was touched, but you shouldn’t have to think like that.

“I would imagine it would be someone with nothing better to do. It just seems random lettering, so it was mindless. It might have hidden meaning, but to me it seems pointless.”

Hullbridge Parish Council was made aware of the vandalism on April 9 and organised a clean-up, but the markings still remain.

Cleaners will be back today to try and shift the remaining damage.

Chris’s sister-in-law Amy Garrod, who lives in Steeple, near Southminster, added: “This is about a young man loved dearly by his family and friends and honoured, using a symbol that will stay there for many years to come.

“It feels like this has disgraced what Chris’s friends and family tried extremely hard to achieve.”

Comments (14)

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7:30pm Thu 24 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.
vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 18

7:54pm Thu 24 Apr 14

BarryTanner says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.
....or join UKIP.
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.[/p][/quote]....or join UKIP. BarryTanner
  • Score: -12

7:54am Fri 25 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

BarryTanner wrote:
DogsMessInLeigh wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.
....or join UKIP.
what a stupid comment...
[quote][p][bold]BarryTanner[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.[/p][/quote]....or join UKIP.[/p][/quote]what a stupid comment... pembury53
  • Score: 14

11:26am Fri 25 Apr 14

Big Sister Tam says...

Adrenaline_Junkie wrote:
Why do people mourn lost ones via a bench anyway? Did their life resemble sitting down alot? I just don't get it.
It's for friends & family to sit & remember their loved one & to reflect on their loss.
[quote][p][bold]Adrenaline_Junkie[/bold] wrote: Why do people mourn lost ones via a bench anyway? Did their life resemble sitting down alot? I just don't get it.[/p][/quote]It's for friends & family to sit & remember their loved one & to reflect on their loss. Big Sister Tam
  • Score: 6

1:17pm Fri 25 Apr 14

TheaWells says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.
I agree. That poor family having gone through loss and now insult. This comment on Facebook says it all..

"Sadly, people are being raised nowadays without anyone teaching them about compassion and empathy. This is what happens. The people who vandalised this bench have no concept of how it might make others feel, everything is disposable and replaceable in their lives. Keepsakes and heirlooms are something the 'olden days' people did. I am a strong believer that part of PSHE and Religious lessons in schools should focus on empathy and compassion..... if we don't then things like vandalising memorials, stabbing when someone **** you off and mugging an elderly person because they are easy prey will just continue to rise.
It isn't the youths fault.... it's down to us parents to instil these values in our children and grandchildren." - Yzzy Howell
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.[/p][/quote]I agree. That poor family having gone through loss and now insult. This comment on Facebook says it all.. "Sadly, people are being raised nowadays without anyone teaching them about compassion and empathy. This is what happens. The people who vandalised this bench have no concept of how it might make others feel, everything is disposable and replaceable in their lives. Keepsakes and heirlooms are something the 'olden days' people did. I am a strong believer that part of PSHE and Religious lessons in schools should focus on empathy and compassion..... if we don't then things like vandalising memorials, stabbing when someone **** you off and mugging an elderly person because they are easy prey will just continue to rise. It isn't the youths fault.... it's down to us parents to instil these values in our children and grandchildren." - Yzzy Howell TheaWells
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Fri 25 Apr 14

TheaWells says...

Adrenaline_Junkie wrote:
Why do people mourn lost ones via a bench anyway? Did their life resemble sitting down alot? I just don't get it.
Not everyone wants to visit a grave, not everyone is buried, if someone was loved by many then a bench can be a place everyone can 'connect' and reflect on their missing loved ones.
I think it is a lovely idea, much nicer than row upon row of graves.
[quote][p][bold]Adrenaline_Junkie[/bold] wrote: Why do people mourn lost ones via a bench anyway? Did their life resemble sitting down alot? I just don't get it.[/p][/quote]Not everyone wants to visit a grave, not everyone is buried, if someone was loved by many then a bench can be a place everyone can 'connect' and reflect on their missing loved ones. I think it is a lovely idea, much nicer than row upon row of graves. TheaWells
  • Score: 5

1:20pm Fri 25 Apr 14

TheaWells says...

pembury53 wrote:
BarryTanner wrote:
DogsMessInLeigh wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.
....or join UKIP.
what a stupid comment...
I 'think' what Barry was trying to say is he thinks members of UKIP are reprobates and vandals. So he thinks if they don't 'grow out of it' then they will more than likely join UKIP...

At least that's how I read his comment. lol
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BarryTanner[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.[/p][/quote]....or join UKIP.[/p][/quote]what a stupid comment...[/p][/quote]I 'think' what Barry was trying to say is he thinks members of UKIP are reprobates and vandals. So he thinks if they don't 'grow out of it' then they will more than likely join UKIP... At least that's how I read his comment. lol TheaWells
  • Score: -2

4:30pm Fri 25 Apr 14

runwellian says...

Why / how does a bench cost £900?

A very lucrative profit making venture for someone!

Remembering someone is done in the heart, not on the side of a road! I hate all the roadside dumping of lowers, if I lost a loved one i would want to remember them and how they lived, not where or how they died!
Why / how does a bench cost £900? A very lucrative profit making venture for someone! Remembering someone is done in the heart, not on the side of a road! I hate all the roadside dumping of lowers, if I lost a loved one i would want to remember them and how they lived, not where or how they died! runwellian
  • Score: -3

4:33pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

Adrenaline_Junkie wrote:
Why do people mourn lost ones via a bench anyway? Did their life resemble sitting down alot? I just don't get it.
You wouldn't get it anyway because you are an arrogant, insensitive piece of excrement.
[quote][p][bold]Adrenaline_Junkie[/bold] wrote: Why do people mourn lost ones via a bench anyway? Did their life resemble sitting down alot? I just don't get it.[/p][/quote]You wouldn't get it anyway because you are an arrogant, insensitive piece of excrement. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 4

4:35pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

BarryTanner wrote:
DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.
....or join UKIP.
More likely to join Labour with the other arrogant, insensitive lowlifes.
[quote][p][bold]BarryTanner[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: vandals are mindless and have little morals and decency, they are lacking something, one day they will grow out of it.[/p][/quote]....or join UKIP.[/p][/quote]More likely to join Labour with the other arrogant, insensitive lowlifes. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 2

4:37pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

Why do these stories always attract at least one ridiculous, insensitive and stupid comment?

And it is down to the family to decide where and what the memorial should be. If the location of the bench means something to them, who is anybody else to criticise?
Why do these stories always attract at least one ridiculous, insensitive and stupid comment? And it is down to the family to decide where and what the memorial should be. If the location of the bench means something to them, who is anybody else to criticise? Kim Gandy
  • Score: 4

4:48pm Fri 25 Apr 14

VeteranOfMany says...

Horrid act of vandalism though more than likely not targeted, as these the morons who daub paint, in this manner would not have noticed a plaque nor thought much about anything.
As for the cost, it is probably made from Oak, hand crafted with the addition of specially made cast iron ends would end up costing hundreds, add that to the craftmens time along with the plaque, is why it sounds expensive.
I know of a similar craftsman who has made benches for the Canvey seafront, and they are not cheap.
Horrid act of vandalism though more than likely not targeted, as these the morons who daub paint, in this manner would not have noticed a plaque nor thought much about anything. As for the cost, it is probably made from Oak, hand crafted with the addition of specially made cast iron ends would end up costing hundreds, add that to the craftmens time along with the plaque, is why it sounds expensive. I know of a similar craftsman who has made benches for the Canvey seafront, and they are not cheap. VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 1

9:32pm Fri 25 Apr 14

TheaWells says...

The cost would also include the extortionate charges made by the Council to 'allow' the family to place it where it is.
The cost would also include the extortionate charges made by the Council to 'allow' the family to place it where it is. TheaWells
  • Score: 1

9:33pm Fri 25 Apr 14

TheaWells says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Why do these stories always attract at least one ridiculous, insensitive and stupid comment?

And it is down to the family to decide where and what the memorial should be. If the location of the bench means something to them, who is anybody else to criticise?
I must be unwell... I agree with you! Either you are becoming a human being or... or....

arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Why do these stories always attract at least one ridiculous, insensitive and stupid comment? And it is down to the family to decide where and what the memorial should be. If the location of the bench means something to them, who is anybody else to criticise?[/p][/quote]I must be unwell... I agree with you! Either you are becoming a human being or... or.... arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh TheaWells
  • Score: -2

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