Vandals ruin OAP’s lawn with weedkiller

Derek Burton's garden was ruined by someone armed with weedkiller
Derek Burton's garden was ruined by someone armed with weedkiller

An 80-year-old man has spoken of his devastation when he found his garden had been maliciously tarnished by weedkiller.

Derek Burton, of Sutton upon Derwent, spends hours every day out in the garden perfecting his lawn, bushes and flower beds.

But someone has taken to his front garden armed with weedkiller which has withered his grass, covering a total area of 23.5 square metres and killed three of his rhododendrons.

Mr Burton, of Main Street, called the police who said there was nothing they could do without witnesses and it was suggested he install CCTV.

“I was devastated because the grass and the three shrubs, apart from the cost, I can’t replace until the spring.

“At my age with the scale of the damage I can’t replace the grass - if it was just a smaller piece I could buy some turf and try to put it down. It’s so big I just can’t do it.”

He says the house him and his wife Audrey share has a “fair sized garden” and Mr Burton spends time nurturing and maintaining it.

He spoke to Sutton upon Derwent Parish Council and asked if it could be put on record that “someone is spraying weedkiller as it could be your neighbour.”

Mr Burton hopes to replace the three shrubs in the spring but doesn’t have the strength to be able to fix the grass and will have to leave it as it is.

“It is proposed to leave the lawn as it is, as a reminder of the evil obviously living in this village,” added Mr Burton.

Footprints of weedkiller have been walked across the grass spreading the damage across the lawn.

The couple have lived in the same house for 52 years and have seen the village grow since they first moved in.

“People don’t want to get involved. People used to speak to each other but it’s not the same any more.”

The damage for replacement equals 17 square meters and there is 6.5 metresaffected by walking the weedkiller across the lawn which may or may not partially regrow.

Mr Burton added: “What has happened is a purely vindictive act if I thought I had offended someone I could understand but I haven’t.

“We live in a far from perfect world.”