Nursery left in ruins by vandals

THE actions of mindless vandals who wrecked an Essex nursery have been branded “outrageous” by a police officer.The hooligans left a trail of destruction in every room when they struck at the Jack and Jill day nursery in Bakers Lane, West Hanningfield.

By Roddy Ashworth

THE actions of mindless vandals who wrecked an Essex nursery have been branded “outrageous” by a police officer.

The hooligans left a trail of destruction in every room when they struck at the Jack and Jill day nursery in Bakers Lane, West Hanningfield.

Sergeant Andy Sams, who saw the damage, said: “It was outrageous. They wrecked the place for the sake of it.”


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The break-in at the day nursery, which caters for 44 children ranging from babies to those approaching five, was discovered earlier this week.

The damage was so bad that parents had to be telephoned and advised not to bring their children in. After a massive clear-up effort by staff, supported by parents who brought in refreshments and took washing home, the nursery was able to accommodate all but its youngest children the following day.

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Police are appealing to the public for information which might lead them to the culprits.

A group of youths was seen congregating outside the nursery early on Saturday afternoon.

The vandals' trail of havoc through all nine rooms at the nursery included fruit juice and eggs being strewn over carpets and beds and poured into electrical equipment, fire extinguishers let off, freezers and refrigerators left open, graffiti being daubed on walls, clothing being stuffed down toilets and children's artwork torn down.

Two CD players worth £80 were stolen, but the damage is believed to run to at least £4,000. Some of the children's clothes were later found alongside the nearby A12.

Nursery proprietor Mrs Diane Middleton said: “It was all so unnecessary. I keep asking why anyone would want to do this.

“The response of staff and parents was magnificent and I am deeply grateful to them for their support.

“Anyone seeing the destruction would understand the importance of the police being given information which helps to catch the people responsible.”

Extra security measures are now being installed at the nursery, including a CCTV system and new lighting.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact police at Chelmsford on 01245 491212 where Pc Corinne Chase is the investigating officer.

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