Church vandal on camera

CCTV images of the St Hilda's suspect
CCTV images of the St Hilda's suspect
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A SUSPECT accused of damaging a statue of St Hilda in a “shocking act of vandalism” is caught on CCTV in these images.

The statue of the saint, who is famous for founding Whitby Abbey, is on the grounds of St Hilda’s Catholic Church in Walker Street.

CCTV images of the St Hilda's suspect

CCTV images of the St Hilda's suspect

CCTV has been installed at the church following previous acts of theft and vandalism, which include other statues being damaged and even donations being stolen from the collection plate within the church.

St Hilda’s Catholic Church’s Fr Neil McNicholas said: “Whoever it was tried to push the thing over, which would have fallen to the patio below. I don’t know what this guy was after, he didn’t do any other damage, but this isn’t the first incident we have had.”

The damage occurred at 2am on Wednesday 13 June and when Fr McNicholas discovered the statue the following morning, it had become wedged and was hanging precariously, 15 feet above a solid stone floor.

He was able to push the statue back in to place, but said that this is not the first time church property has been attacked.

The statue of St Hilda

The statue of St Hilda

Other statues in the church grounds have been repeatedly vandalised and as a security measure, the wardens have increased the number of CCTV cameras in and around the church. PC Michael Jamalizadeh, of Whitby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is a shocking act of vandalism. I urge anyone who can identify the man caught on camera to contact the police of Crimestoppers as soon as possible.”

Anyone who can assist the enquiry is asked to contact Whitby police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Michael Jamalizadeh.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference number 12120095461.