Village tree wrecked

A VILLAGE’S Christmas tree has been attacked by vandals for the third time in recent years.

The lights on Thornley’s 15ft festive tree have been wrecked by yobs – with exposed wires putting youngsters in danger.

But since the previous attacks, parish chiefs have been wary of adding decorations to the tree, in Hartlepool Street.

Parish council chairman Ann Attey said: “A lot of people in the village are just saying what has the village to do for people to respect these things?

“The parish council wondered whether we should put a tree up and lights on, but the rest of the council said yes we are going to do it because we can’t let these people win.”

Councillor Attey added: “This year it’s been total vandalism. They have ripped the whole of the bulb shades off and left the wire bare.”

She said it would cost between £200 and £300 to replace the lights, but the council would not be able to replace them this year.

Coun Attey said youngsters from Thornley Primary School had only switched on the tree’s lights on December 1.

But the vandalism is thought to have happened overnight between December 3-4.

PC Paul Gooden, of Peterlee Police, said: “Somebody in the village must know who has caused this damage.”

Anyone with information is urged to call PC Gooden on 0345 6060365 or Crimestoppers 0800 555111.