Vow to beat thugs who trashed nativity display

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THE ORGANISER behind the nativity scene in Belper that was crudely rearranged by vandals has vowed to bring the display back next year.

Yvonne Sewter, a member of Churches Together, was dismayed when she heard that statues of Mary and Joseph had been moved into compromising positions by thugs who also trashed the display which is in the town’s Memorial Gardens.

Clothes were also taken off the baby Jesus and models of snowmen and fawns vandalised.

Electrical sockets were smashed and, in all, £425 worth of damage was caused, leaving Town Mayor John Nelson to describe those responsible as “mindless morons”.

But Yvonne, who came up with the idea of the nativity scene four years ago when she was chairman of Churches Together, vowed not to let the thugs win.

She said: “I have spoken with the town council about whether we will do it again.

“But we will definitely carry it on as far as I’m concerned because the nativity scene is a statement for Christmas.

“We are just wondering whether to put it elsewhere.

“It has been there for the past four years. In the second year it caught fire and in the fourth year it was knocked about.

“It is just nastiness and it is unsavoury, but it will not put me off.

“A lot of people like it, and children enjoy playing with it, so it would be nice to keep it going.”

A spokeswoman for Belper Town Council said: “We want there to be a nativity scene there next year.

“It is just a minority spoiling it for the majority.

“We are not going to let them win.

“Whoever did it is mindless, but we will not let them spoil it for the rest of us.”

Police said the attack happened sometime between Saturday, December 18, and Sunday, December 19.

One witness is believed to have seen people aged in their 20s causing the damage.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should call Belper police on 0345 123 3333.