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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Yobs wreck tree planted in memory of Cumbria shootings victim

Vandals have destroyed a tree planted in memory of Isaac ‘Spike’ Dixon who was shot dead by gunman Derrick Bird.

Cumbrian shootings photo
Isaac Dixon

The cherry sapling, installed only a month ago at Piggery Field, Egremont, has had all but one of its branches snapped and its stem broken over the past week.

Egremont councillor Mike McVeigh, a friend of the Dixon family who was mayor of Copeland at the time of the shootings, said: “I am shocked and disgusted that anyone could commit such a mindless act of vandalism.

“Anyone who knew Spike knew that he was a real community man and worked hard to take care of the Egremont area and the people in it.

“He would be devastated that this has happened and I would urge anyone who is as community-minded as Spike was to report the people responsible to the police.’’

Spike, a vice-president of Egremont Conservative Club, was shot and killed in Carleton Woods by Bird on June 2, 2010.

Last month, his family and friends gathered to remember him at a ceremony to unveil a memorial bench and tree which were installed within sight of the shed where countryside-loving Spike, 65, relaxed and kept chickens.

At the time, his sister, Margaret Earl, said: “He would sit peacefully listening to his radio before going for his walks. We are very touched by everyone’s support and help.”

Copeland’s mayor, John Jackson, also said at the ceremony: “Spike was an unassuming bloke. He loved it here, so this is fitting testament of such a grand lad.”

PCSO Alan Williamson said the damage to the tree was a criminal offence. He said: “In the circumstances surrounding it, and what the sapling signifies, the damage is even more disgusting.’’

He appealed to the public to contact him with any information on 101.

Around five other benches and trees in memory of those killed by Derrick Bird have been installed across Copeland, funded by a private company which wishes to remain anonymous.

The location of the benches, installed by Copeland council, hasn’t been publicised due to the wishes of the victims’ families.

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