'Why would they do this?'

PUBLISHED: 11:23 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010

Michael’s younger sister, Michelle, three, visits her brother’s vandalised grave with his parents Peter and Jayne, and aunts Beryl Holt and Carole Ainsworth. Picture: HELEN SOUTH 8936

Michael's younger sister, Michelle, three, visits her brother's vandalised grave with his parents Peter and Jayne, and aunts Beryl Holt and Carole Ainsworth. Picture: HELEN SOUTH 8936

HEARTLESS vandals have wrecked a toddler s grave by using it as target practice. They aimed missiles at two-year-old Michael Cole s headstone, smashing plant pots and leaving flowers strewn across the ground. It is the second time the grave has been targe

Michael Cole

HEARTLESS vandals have wrecked a toddler's grave by using it as target practice.

They aimed missiles at two-year-old Michael Cole's headstone, smashing plant pots and leaving flowers strewn across the ground.

It is the second time the grave has been targeted and his distraught parents fear it may have been singled out by the hooligans.

Peter and Jayne Cole discovered the devastation when they went to visit the grave at Ely Cemetery on Sunday afternoon.

They found two large musical flower pots, one playing Michael's favourite lullaby, Angels by Brahms, were targeted and an ornamental blue shoe had been smashed.

But Michael's favourite toys, including trains and cars, which decorated the grave were left untouched.

Mr Cole, 48, of Columbine Road, said: "They seem to be singling out my little boy's grave for some strange reason. They smashed all the pots and it looks like they have put them back together again. But they can't be repaired because there are pieces missing.

"In the past vandals have thrown the flowers around on the grave but now they have gone too far. I have told the police that if I catch whoever did this then God help them."

Mrs Cole added: "Words can't describe what we feel. He was just a little boy."

Michael was buried in the cemetery in December 2002 just three days before the couple's daughter Michelle, now three, was born.

He had battled against a congenital heart defect which finally claimed his life three days after his second birthday.

"We virtually lived in London at Great Ormond Street Hospital during his life," said Mr Cole. "His condition meant he was getting too much blood to the lungs and not enough to his heart. He went through an operation on September 3 where his heart was taken to pieces and put back together again.

"It was a great success and we took him home in November. He had his second birthday but complications set in and he got sick two days later."

Now the family plans to clean-up Michael's grave, replacing the broken pots and adding more flowers.

Ely City Council's cemetery team chairman Cllr Ron Bradney said a meeting was being held this week to discuss improvements to the children's area at the cemetery and the incident would be looked into at the same time.

"We have been asking the Police Community Support Officers to patrol the area around the cemetery, specially late at night," he said. "The curator is also going to keep an eye on it to see if this grave is being singled out. This is very sensitive, particularly where a child is concerned.

"We are trying to make the children's area more attractive. It has looked a bit barren and we want to get it up to the standard we have been used to.

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