Family wants to find out who vandalised 22-year-old son's grave

December 23 2020
Family wants to find out who vandalised 22-year-old son's grave

THE devastated family of a Winterbourne Down man who died aged 22 want to know why his grave has been desecrated.

White paint was poured over Liam Scarman's headstone at Westerleigh Crematorium and a note left with a mocking message.

Liam died from diabetes three years ago and the message referred to him by name, along with his condition.

His family say Liam was a popular man and police have described the attack on his grave as "abhorrent".

Police believe the vandal attack at Westerleigh Crematorium must have taken place sometime between 5pm on Thursday November 26 and 5am the following day.

As well as daubing the front and back of the headstone with paint, a note was left which mocked Liam's death and called him a derogatory name.

Liam's dad Trevor Scarman, who lives near Winterbourne Down, said that when he learned of the damage and went to the crematorium, Liam's friends stopped him from seeing the grave for his own sake. He is desperate to find out why the damage was caused.

Trevor said: "I just felt empty. Losing my son was bad enough.

"I initially felt angry. Now I just want to find out more and name and shame them.”

Trevor learned that a young woman had been at the cemetery asking where Liam's headstone was about three days before the vandals struck.

She was filmed on CCTV and police are now investigating the footage. The Voice asked Avon and Somerset police whether an image could be released to the public but the force declined while officers make their own enquiries into her identity.

Liam grew up with his mum Sue Witt, older brother Oliver, who now lives in Yate, and two stepsisters, Gemma and Sarah.

He went to the Ridings High School, later Winterbourne Academy, and had worked for insurance firm LV at Aztec West, although he was out of work at the time of his death.

Trevor said: “We didn’t know he had diabetes until he was 16.

"He was type one and had to inject four times a day, three daytime and one night-time injection.

"He found that hard. He only died because he didn’t take the night-time injection. He went to his girlfriend’s parents for Christmas and we think he didn’t take it Christmas Eve and Christmas Day night.

"He walked back to my house, went to bed, and never woke up."

Trevor believes that the vandalism may be connected to a personal feud involving people who knew Liam.

He said: “He was the life and soul of the party. We had 450 people at his funeral – there was only standing room outside."

Since Liam’s death, Trevor has raised funds for diabetes research by organising local music events. In 2019 he won an award for raising awareness and funds, and he hopes to hold an event at The Globe pub in Frampton Cotterell next year.

Trevor said: "I’m still trying to raise awareness of diabetes as much as I can, and I will do that for the rest of my life.”

Police investigating officer PC Kyle Maywood said: “To commit an act of criminal damage like this is unthinkable.

"There will be people out there that know who’s responsible and I’d urge them to do the right thing and come forward.”

Anyone with information about the vandal attack should 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 267 420.

Picture shows Liam Scarman with his mum Sue Witt and his headstone after it was daubed with white paint at Westerleigh Crematorium