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Police launch investigation after vandals pour bleach on grandmother's memorial tree

Daniel Snow planted the tree in North Devon in memory of his late grandma Jean Williams.

Daniel Snow, 33, with his late grandma, Jean Williams and the vandalised tree. (SWNS)
Daniel Snow, 33, with his late grandma, Jean Williams and the vandalised tree. (SWNS)

Police are investigating after vandals hacked and poured bleach on a grandmother's memorial tree less than 48 hours after it was planted.

Daniel Snow, 33, planted the magnolia kobus tree in Appledore, North Devon on Monday in memory of his late grandma Jean Williams.

The 78-year-old died of cancer in February 2020 and Snow and his relatives organised for the tree to be placed on the third anniversary of her death.

Torridge District Council picked a spot for the monument but when they returned to check on it less than two days later, someone had poured bleach around the tree’s base and attacked its trunk and branches.

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Police are investigating after vandals hacked and poured bleach on a gran's memorial tree in North Devon. (SWNS)
Police are investigating after vandals hacked and poured bleach on a gran's memorial tree in North Devon. (SWNS)
The tree was hacked at. (SWNS)
The tree was hacked at. (SWNS)

Torridge District Council has reported the vandalism to Devon and Cornwall Police and officers are investigating.

Snow, from North London, said: "It's a very upsetting situation and we're angry anyone would deem it okay to do something like this.

"The council have swapped the soil, bandaged the bark and used water to wash away the bleach - but it's yet to be seen whether the tree will survive."

The chartered surveyor added: "The reason we picked Appledore is because we've been going on holiday there as a family for 25 years.

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The magnolia kobus tree was planted in Appledore. (SWNS)
The magnolia kobus tree was planted in Appledore. (SWNS)

"We have great memories with grandma there, and Torridge Council were happy to let us plant the tree next to the seaside.

"I'd just emailed them to tell them how grateful we were, and how pleased we were with the tree, when someone called and said it had been vandalised."

Sean Kearney, head of communities and Torridge District Council, said: "We are disappointed that this act of criminal damage has occurred and have reported the matter to the local police for further investigation.

“We are not able to comment further while the matter is looked into.”