Heartless yobs vandalise tree dedicated to inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton just days after it was put up

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Yobs have pulled yellow ribbons off a Christmas tree dedicated to inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton - just days after it was put up.

Lights on the tree outside Burntwood Library were officially switched on by Stephen's mother Jane at the weekend in front of hundreds of people.

But Joanne Jarvis, who decorated the tree along with an army of volunteers, has been left heartbroken after discovering bows have been strewn across the road.

She says a large fence may have to be erected to stop vandals targeting the tree again.

She said:"I am absolutely gutted, I have been in tears.

"How could anyone be so disrespectful? We had hoped it was the wind but we now know for certain they were pulled off deliberately.

"I am just disgusted. I had asked for a low fence but now the council are considering a higher fence after this weekend."

Vice chair of Burntwood Town Council Keith Willis-Croft, and mother of Stephen Sutton Jane, switch on the lights on the Christmas tree in Burntwood, in memory of Stephen last week

Mrs Jarvis came up with the idea for the tree after Burntwood residents were upset that thousands of bows tied to railings during Stephen's battle with cancer earlier this year had become weathered and were being removed.


The fundraiser spent weeks selling bows for tree to raise £1,500 for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity. More than 400 people attended the lights switch-on event which took place on Sunday.

Mrs Jarvis is now in the process of checking CCTV footage from nearby shops to see if those responsible can be identified.

Burntwood Town Council officer Brian Cooper said: "In previous years youths have pushed the tree around but we sincerely hoped that with this year being dedicated to Stephen Sutton they wouldn't do it.

"However, they have knocked a handful of bows off, which we have re-attached. We hope this will be the end of it.


"But if it does happen again we will not have much choice but to put up a two-meter high fence. We don't want to have to do it, but stopping people from ruining the tree is our priority."

Stephen died of cancer in May at the age of 19. His fundraising efforts raised more than £3m for Teenage Cancer Trust and a further £2m has been raised since he passed away.

The tree is situated at Sankey's Corner in Burntwood.

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