Drug death teenager Shakira Pellow's memorial attacked

By Jonathan Morris
BBC News Online

Image caption, Roses were left strewn around the park the day after Valentine's Day

A mother has said her life is being destroyed by vandals attacking a memorial to her teenage daughter, who died after taking ecstasy.

A memorial stone was placed in a Cornwall park after 15-year-old Shakira Pellow's death but her mother Rita Hole, 48, says it has been vandalised every week.

She said the stress of the attacks had led to three heart attacks.

Shakira collapsed in Pengegon Park in Camborne on 6 July last year and died in hospital the next day.

Image source, Facebook
Image caption, Shakira was one of four teenagers who were taken to hospital after taking high-strength MDMA

Shakira was one of a group of friends who police said took high-strength ecstasy stamped with the word Duplo on the tablets.

Her heart stopped twice on the way to hospital and she died the next day.

Friends rallied round and put up a simple stone memorial to Shakira about 15m (50ft) from where she collapsed.

Image caption, Rita Hole said she was absolutely disgusted and heartbroken

Carer Ms Hole said she visited the site every week to leave flowers and light candles but every time the tributes were destroyed or removed.

She said she thought she had been targeted for speaking to police about who she believed supplied the drugs to her daughter.

"The first time was when we had a memorial vigil on her birthday," she said.

"We had really dressed the park up.

"They cut the lights off and took the pot that the red roses were in."

Image caption, Lanterns, tea lights and flowers have all been destroyed at the memorial

The roses had been left strewn around the park.

"It looked like they were beating the roses against the seats," she said.

"There were petals everywhere."

Ms Hole went to the park on Christmas Eve and "it was all lit and looking absolutely beautiful", she said.

"I went to my daughters on Christmas Day and on Boxing Day the wreaths were stolen, everything we put down there was stolen."

Image source, Family picture
Image caption, Shakira Pellow's family issued this picture of her hours before she died in hospital as a warning against drugs misuse

On Valentine's Day she made a special effort with the memorial.

"We had a love heart, a teddy bear in there with the flowers," she said.

"I went down at night and lit a lantern and some tea lights, it was really pretty.

"I went back at half past six the next morning and they were gone.

"It's destroyed me, I'm absolutely disgusted, heartbroken," she said.

Image caption, The memorial is lit up for a vigil but the next day tributes had been cut down

Ms Hole has reported the attacks to the police who are investigating.

"These thefts are callous acts and extremely distressing for the family," said a spokesman for the Devon and Cornwall force.

"We would appeal to anyone who may have any information about these incidents to contact us."

Three of Shakira's friends, a 15-year-old boy and two 15-year-old girls, were also taken to hospital after taking the substance.

Two 17-year-old boys, suspected of supplying a controlled drug, have been bailed.

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