VANDALS who desecrated a memorial in St Stephen to a teenage boy have been described as the "lowest of the low".
The stern words have been issued after a community awoke to find the memorial had been ripped from its base at the St Stephen Churchtown Cemetery and then broken into pieces.
The vandals left the shattered flower pot, discarded partly on the path and the grass beside the grave, while the base of the memorial to 15-year-old Cyril Teague, who died in 1922, was hurled into the middle of Churchtown Road.
A broken wing mirror was also found by the side of the grave.
The mindless act, which took place overnight on Saturday, has prompted shock and anger from a community who less than 48 hours earlier had proudly welcomed home gold-medal Paralympic swimmer Jonathan Fox.
Verna Hedley, clerk of St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council, was delivered the news by a neighbour on Sunday morning.
She said this was the worst in a string of incidents over the past few months.
In the past the cemetery had become a den for drinkers who leave cans and smashed bottles behind, throw granite chippings on the old gravestones and break tree branches and bushes.
Despite the police removing the group the problems have continued.
Mrs Hedley said: "This latest incident is totally unacceptable and if found the culprits will be prosecuted.
"It is the lowest of the low. I cannot comprehend people's mentality, that first of all they would sit in a cemetery and drink and secondly that they would do something like that. It defies all logic," she said.
She added the parish council was in the process of trying to establish if the teenager has any remaining next of kin who they can inform of the desecration.
The parish council will also have to foot the bill for the repairs, which ultimately will come out of the pockets of its residents.
St Austell's Inspector Stuart Gibbons said officers had previously been called to the spot in response to antisocial behaviour including children drinking.
He said: "But we have never had anything of this sensitivity and this has outraged the local community and I can understand why.
"If the person or people who did this have any morals at all they should come forward and own up."
Mr Gibbons is also urging anyone who knows who is responsible to call the police.
Since the callous attack police patrols in the area have been stepped up.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting GA/12/2796.