A park bench in the shape of a mermaid that was installed in memory of a popular local councillor has been defaced by mindless vandals.
The piece of art that cost more than £2,000 was provided in Seaton Park as a tribute to ward councillor Cath Hill who tragically lost a battle with cancer in February last year at aged 76.
But yobs have carved off her nose and done other widespread damage to her face.
Park volunteers and a ward councillor who helped pay for the memorial have described the vandalism as “sickening”.
Created by renowned sculptor Tommy Craggs, the mermaid was installed by the Friends of Seaton Park group and Hartlepool Borough Council’s parks and countryside officers.
It was paid for out of the ward budgets of fellow Seaton councillors Paul Thompson and Kelly Atkinson.
Whoever has done it has made a concerted effort to hammer the face offGraeme Measor, Friends of Seaton Park
Graeme Measor, secretary of the Friends of Seaton Park, said: “Whoever has done it has made a concerted effort to hammer the face off.
“There are about 30 to 40 different hammer marks. It is sickening really, appalling.”
The damage is believed to have happened over the weekend of October 24-25.
Cath Hill served on Hartlepool Borough Council for around 15 years and worked hard for young people.
Seaton ward councillor Paul Thompson said: “Cath loved the park and we wanted to have a lasting legacy to her. This has been a deliberate act of vandalism. It is disgusting.”
Anyone with information should contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101.