A GRANDMOTHER has been left devastated after her Christmas decorations were stolen and her late husband’s memorial garden was vandalised.
Joyce Lisle, who lives with a carer in Stedham, said she was ‘devastated’ after vandals destroyed a memorial garden outside her home, and stole a Santa Claus decoration which had sentimental value.
Mrs Lisle, 77, said: “I’m so sad about it.
“It’s not the price, but the sentimental value.
“My husband bought those decorations nearly 25 years ago, and he used to put them outside every year, but he would put them up high so no-one could reach them.”
The garden outside Mrs Lisle’s home is in the memory of her late husband Stephen, a former police officer who died seven years ago aged 70.
The couple had lived in Stedham for almost 50 years.
Mrs Lisle’s son Steve said: “I think it is absolutely disgusting, that someone can desecrate memorials, and steal from a pensioner.
“I was incredibly angry, upset and disappointed.
“The garden is in remembrance of my dad.
“The thieves desecrated memorial flower baskets and ripped up the personal messages that were attached to them.”
Mrs Lisle said her family helped to put the decorations outside on December 1, where they stayed until New Year’s Eve.
She added: “I put them out for the little ones to enjoy, as my granddaughter was coming to stay with my great-grandson, along with my other grandchildren.
“I looked out the window one morning, and one of the decorations had gone, and the garden was vandalised.
“Some of the decorations hadn’t been taken, but thrown across the garden.
“I can’t do much myself because I’m registered disabled, so I had to ask my family to help me put everything back together.
“My daughter drove around Stedham trying to find the Santa, but had no luck.
“There used to be trouble in the area when there was a pub nearby, with people walking past drunk, but I’ve never been affected by vandalism such as this.”