Statue vandalism reward hits £2,000

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n The reward swelled almost instantaneously thanks to a number of donations from people across Scarborough including MP Robert Goodwill, Cllr Tom Fox and Cllr Derek Bastiman, hypnotist Ken Webster, businessmen Jack Stephenson, Robert Breaks and Nick Ingham, former Army captain Tony Viney, the Residents and Friends of Trafalgar Square and an anonymous resident who single-handedly put forward £500.

A REWARD pot to catch vandals who damaged an iconic Scarborough steel statue has surged past the £2,000 barrier.

The paint attack on the Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers sculpture sparked a huge public outpouring of disgust across the town, triggering a major cash incentive to catch the culprits.

The fund has been bolstered further by two more massive gestures .

Guilian Alonzi, who owns the Harbour Bar, in Sandside, has put £500 forward to help track down those responsible.

And Scarborough Rugby Club players have also agreed to scrum down and raise funds for the cause with a collection and donation of monies at their next home game.

Mr Alonzi, who read about the damage after arriving back from a trip to Italy, said: “Having just got back in England, I was absolutely devastated when I opened the newspaper.

“The statue is such an amazing gesture to the town that I just could not believe anyone would do that.

“I’m sure that the police will find out who it was and if it goes to court I hope the magistrates fully punish them.

“This was a gesture from an ordinary person in Mrs Robinson who loves the town and has real affection for it so for this to happen is disgraceful.”

Graeme Young, chief executive of Scarborough Rugby Club, confirmed players from the Silver Royd team were planning to help in their own unique way.

He said they were looking into converting their internal fines, dished out for light-hearted issues throughout the season, into a sum to donate to the reward pot.

He also added the club were looking into holding a collection at their next home game.

He added: “The players were horrified when they read what had happened.

“Something like this reflects very badly on the town.

“As a team, the lads travel all around Yorkshire and create a positive picture of Scarborough and paint it in a positive light.

“That is why something like this is so frustrating for everyone in Scarborough.”

The £50,000 statue, donated to Scarborough by Maureen Robinson in November last year, has now been cleaned by Scarborough Council.

However, bosses have warned it will take around six weeks for the sculpture to return to its recognised appearance due to the re-oxidation of the steel.

Jakki Willby, who started the campaign to keep the sculpture in Scarborough, said she was buoyed by the public reaction to the vandal attack.

She said: “The council did a fantastic job, their response was quick and well managed and they worked so hard all day to restore Freddie to his former glory.

“The public outrage and upset really hit home just how much Scarborough has taken Freddie into their hearts.”

Scarborough police confirmed they are still appealing for people to come forward with information about the vandalism.

Anyone with anything which could help the investigation is asked to call the new 101 number, select option two and ask for PC Alex Parker.