Dorset

Poole mother 'heartbroken' after young sons' grave vandalised

Vandalised grave Image copyright Steph Green
Image caption Toys and mementoes from their grave at Poole Cemetery were found strewn on Thursday.

The mother of boys who had a rare skin condition has said she is "heartbroken" after their grave was vandalised.

Harry and Cody Churchill from Poole, aged three and 21 months, both had epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and died within days of each other in 2013.

Toys and mementos from their grave at Poole Cemetery were found strewn on Thursday.

Their mother Steph Green said it took place shortly before what would have been Harry's 10th birthday.

She posted pictures of the damage on social media.

"Tomorrow Harry will turn 10 and I should be spending time with by babies and celebrating the day he came in to the world.

"How anyone can do something like this is just sickening.

"Mummy will fix you up boys I promise, I love you and I'm sorry this has happened," she posted.

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Media caption'Butterfly' boys Cody and Harry Churchill died in 2013

Dorset Police said it was investigating a report of criminal damage to a grave at the Poole Cemetery in Dorchester Road.

'Despicable crime'

Insp Phil Swanton said: "This is clearly a despicable and senseless crime and must have caused considerable upset to the family involved.

"We are launching a full investigation to identify those responsible and will be carrying out a number of enquiries including exploring CCTV opportunities in the area."

The boys featured in a BBC Inside Out programme to raise awareness of EB and their story was later told as part of 2013's Children in Need appeal.

The skin condition affects about 5,000 people in the UK.

It causes the skin to become very fragile and any trauma or friction can result in painful blisters.

Younger patients are sometimes called "butterfly children" because their skin is fragile like a butterfly's wings.

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