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‘The season of goodwill has been ruined by this low-life’

Outrage over theft of Christmas tree planted in memory of husband

Liz Austin and son Matt are angry that a Christmas tree planted in memory of a resident at Elizabeth Court, Herne Bay, has been chopped down and stolen

A low-life thief has sparked outrage after breaking into a community garden and chopping down a Christmas tree planted in memory of a former resident. The tree was part of the community area in the Elizabeth Court flats in King’s Road and had been dedicated to Christmas lover John Vidd, who died several years ago. His wife Sylvia is believed to have planted the trees before moving to a new address in Canterbury. But last week a man wielding a saw was seen approaching the tree and cutting it down, just days before local children were due to decorate it. Liz Austin, 53, who has lived in Elizabeth Court for 26 years, says it was taken on either Thursday or Friday. She said:

“Someone has sawn it down, taken it and gone. I couldn’t believe it. This is meant to be the season of goodwill but some low-life has ruined it. It was not just somebody working to remove it, or someone passing on the off-chance while carrying a saw. They would have known the tree was there as you can’t see it from the road. We had the hedges planted to slop people using it as dumping ground for their litter or as a shortcut, so it is screened. I just think it’s appalling. When John died his wife Sylvia had it planted in his memory. It had grown to about eight or nine feet.”

The fresh cut stump of the tree
The fresh cut stump of the tree

One resident said his plans to knock on doors to ask children to help him decorate it had been ruined. Mrs Austin added:

“I’m absolutely furious. We were only saying how nice the tree looked the other day. If it’s found out who it was they should be named and shamed and made to replace it.”

Residents suspect it is someone with local knowledge of the garden, but added the matter had not been reported to police because the area is not covered by CCTV and they are unsure of the exact time of the theft.

Herne Bay Gazette, December 11th 2014

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