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‘I need to keep fighting’: Shock as grave of two-week-old baby vandalised again

Natasha-Lee McGilligan at Roxie's grave.
Natasha-Lee McGilligan at Roxie's grave.

The family of a two-week-old baby whose grave was vandalised have expressed shock after it was targeted again.

Natasha-Lee McGilligan, 16, launched a campaign last year for CCTV to be installed at cemeteries after vandals struck twice at Jeanfield Cemetery in Perth.

Roxie’s grave.

Vandals have once again destroyed the grave in what has become a “regular” occurrence.

But Natasha-Lee is determined to continue the fight to ensure cemeteries are protected.

‘Becoming quite regular’

Roxie was just two weeks old when she died in March 2019.

She suffered from necrotising enterocolitis, a type of bowel condition that affects premature babies.

Her funeral was held in April 25 2019, and her grave was damaged just three weeks later.

The latest damage has sent shockwaves through the family and local community.

Natasha-Lee said: “After the last time it was in the paper, nothing happened so I assumed it has settled down and people began to realise how bad and wrong it actually is.

Natasha-Lee is continuing the fight to protect cemeteries.

“In November, me and my boyfriend moved to Stirling and then moved back in March.

“On that same Sunday night, I got a call from my sister informing me that Roxie’s grave had been destroyed

“After going up to the graveyard, I saw that I had seriously misjudged the situation.

“A lot of graves had been destroyed, and people including the police stated this is becoming quite regular.”

‘This fight is far from over’

Natasha-Lee’s mother, Claire says her daughter has never stopped the fight despite challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Claire said: “It’s been two years and she’s still not given up this fight.

“Even with lockdown, she was still doing everything she could.

“She’s never given up this fight when many people would have.”

Natasha-Lee reported the vandalism to police and Perth and Kinross Council but says nothing has been done.

She said: “After I reported an act of vandalism to my sister’s grave the council said they would bring in community wardens to patrol this as it seems to be ‘a hot spot for teens’.

“Several family members and friends have been up since the incident and we have never once seen one there.

“Since last October, I have been trying to contact the council and never heard back.

“This fight for CCTV is far from over but I indeed to keep fighting.

“Our cemeteries need protecting.”

MP will raise issue with police

Natasha-Lee also contacted Pete Wishart MP following the latest acts of vandalism to Roxie’s grave. She met with the politician last year as part of efforts for CCTV to be installed at cemeteries.

Mr Wishart said: “I am appalled to hear of yet more vandalism at Jeanfield Cemetery and I am utterly determined that something is done to stop this.

“This is hugely upsetting for the family and for all those who have family members interred at the cemetery.

“It is supposed to be a sacred place where families can come to grieve, and they should not have to be concerned about mindless vandalism.

“I am going to be raising this again with Police Scotland to see what can be done to deter vandals and ensure that gravesites remain respected.”

Increase in patrols

Perth and Kinross Council said it now intends to increase community warden patrols amid the rise in incidents.

A spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear about these horrible acts of vandalism at Jeanfield Cemetery and the impact on and upset this is causing  families who are visiting loved ones.

“Our community wardens undertake patrols of Jeanfield Cemetery, however given the increase in incidents we intend to increase their patrols to provide a reassurance to families and enable swift action in response to any further acts of vandalism.

“We would ask that anyone who has concerns or would like to discuss the issue further contact the Safer Communities Team directly at SCT@pkc.gov.uk or by phoning 01738 476173.”

Police Scotland says it was “made aware” of vandalism to Roxie’s grave in March this year.

A spokesperson added: “Anyone who knows who was responsible should contact police on 101, quoting 3618 of 22 March.”

Perth teen’s CCTV campaign gains almost 1,000 backers after vandals target baby sister’s grave

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