Vandal rampage through cemetery ‘destroys’ parts of Parkes history

Parkes Shire Council employee Geoff Finn couldn’t believe the carnage caused by vandals at the Parkes Cemetery. Damage to this memorial alone is estimated at $40,000. Photo: Bill Jayet
Parkes Shire Council employee Geoff Finn couldn’t believe the carnage caused by vandals at the Parkes Cemetery. Damage to this memorial alone is estimated at $40,000. Photo: Bill Jayet

A 15-year-old boy has been charged after a vicious act of vandalism caused $100,000 worth of damage to the Parkes Cemetery.

Devastated families and community members are still coming to terms with the aftermath of the attack which occurred last Thursday.

More than 100 grave sites were vandalised during the rampage which saw monuments and ornaments destroyed, memorial headstones smashed and ornamental floral tributes stolen or strewn across the cemetery grounds.

Local funeral director Bob Cocks felt “gutted” by the news.

“Some of the memorials destroyed in this attack are simply priceless and of historic significance to Parkes,” he said.

Business partner Andrew Cusack was lost for words.

“I am floored by what has happened here,” he said.

“Some of these graves date back to the 1930s.

“The actions of these vandals have simply destroyed part of the history of this town and its ancestors, not to mention that these graves are sacred sites to so many families.

“How anyone could do this, I just don’t understand.”

Detectives arrested three Parkes teenage boys on Friday for the desecration of the graves and took them to Parkes Police Station for questioning.

A 15-year-old boy was charged with 17 counts of malicious damage and granted conditional bail.

He is due to appear in Parkes Children’s Court on Wednesday, August 25.

It’s expected the other boys, aged 13 and 14, will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.

Parkes police are continuing investigations following several leads into the vandalism.