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Vandals cover Merstham pre-school playground with excrement

By Surrey Mirror  |  Posted: October 08, 2011

  • Staff member Kelly Price with the slide covered in excrement

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TODDLERS were forced to play indoors after vandals smeared excrement all over a pre-school's play equipment.

Staff at the Jelly Beans Pre-School in Mansfield Drive, Merstham, arrived on Monday to find the slides and playhouses overturned and smeared with faeces.

The sickening incident left a class of 14 two to four-year-olds unable to play in the sun as the outdoor area was out of bounds until it could be cleaned and repaired.

Lisa Sinnick, deputy manager of Jelly Beans, said: "It's disgusting. Outside is where we want to be.

"We would have had the children in the garden, but this means they are restricted to inside."

The vandals broke the gates opening onto the playground, dumped a playhouse down a back alley, overturned another one as well as a slide, and smeared excrement on much of the equipment.

It is the second time the group, based at the Church of the Epiphany has been targeted by vandals, after five schoolchildren wrecked the playground leaving splintered wood and exposed nails in 2008.

Parents were left furious by this week's wrecking spree.

Mark Grantham offered to powerwash the equipment after branding the vandalism "ridiculous".

Fellow parent Simone Courtney agreed and said: "It is disgusting. It's not just any grounds, it is church grounds, where's the respect?"

And mum Jenny Lines added: "Those responsible should be locked up. If they want to act like animals they should be treated like animals."

Residents in the surrounding homes were unaware of the vandalism but expressed their disgust at what had taken place so close to their homes.

Joan Walker told the Mirror: "It is very sad to see it happening in the neighbourhood.

"It used to be so nice here, it's sad."

A Surrey Police forensics team attended the scene on Monday morning, but with the investigation and the need to clean the kit, it was expected to be a couple of days before the children could play outside again.

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