The heart-broken family of a six-year-old boy who fell to his death from an 8th floor window, have told of their utter despair at vandalism attacks on his grave.
Liam Shackleton fell from the Lincoln Green tower block in May 2011.
Now his parents have told the YEP they cannot bear to go the cemetery at Harehills after his special ‘Ben 10’ comfort blanket they left on the grave, was stolen, along with his favourite teddies, toys and even sweets.
“How can people take these precious things from the grave of a little boy?” said his tearful mum Tania Shackleton, 28.
Speaking for the first time following the tragedy, she said: “We had been visiting his grave up to three times a day to see him but I simply can’t go anymore. It was packed with bright colours and toys but now it is bare as it was cleared by thieves and we brought what was left home.”
Dad Martin Shackleton, 36, said: “There has been around 15 incidents of vandalism and theft, we cannot go there to grieve. There is no CCTV and we would rather move him than leave his little body there.”
Today the couple, who had to move from the Lyndsay Mount tower block immediately after the tragedy, told how they have endured nine months of hell since their son died.
“We’ve been to hell and back since Liam fell,” said Tania. “We can’t turn back the clock. All we want to do is grieve for our little boy yet we can’t even do that. I can’t even go to the grave now as I dread what might have happened.
“His favourite Ben 10 blanket he had for four years since he was a baby was taken, sweets we left for him have gone and little teddies and toys also wrecked. We don’t think Liam’s is the only grave which has been attacked.”
Martin, 36, said they want to move Liam’s body to a different cemetery. An inquest opening held last year heard that Liam fell from the window of the flat on May 31.
Police were called at 5.13pm by the ambulance service and told a young boy had fallen from the eighth floor of a block of flats.
Liam was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he was sadly declared dead at 5.42 pm, suffering from multiple injuries. The Crown Prosecution Service said in October that no criminal charges would be brought. A police spokesperson said they have increased patrols.
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “This is despicable behaviour and we extend our sympathy to Liam’s family.
“We have actively increased security at Harehills Cemetery in recent weeks by permanently locking a number of gates along the boundary lane. On top of this we are also installing CCTV cameras in the near future at Harehills.”