Doncaster fundraiser’s anger over attack on wife’s headstone

John Rush, next to the grave of Sandra Rush, at Denaby Cemetery has been vandalised. Picture: Andrew Roe
John Rush, next to the grave of Sandra Rush, at Denaby Cemetery has been vandalised. Picture: Andrew Roe

A Doncaster widower has been left distraught after his wife’s grave was targeted by vandals.

Sandra Rush, who died from breast cancer aged 44, has not been left to rest in peace because of an act of vandalism at Denaby Cemetery last week.

Sandra Rus. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sandra Rus. Picture: Andrew Roe

Her husband John Rush, aged 58, who discovered the crime last Friday, said: “It reduced me to tears when I saw what had been done.”

Mrs Rush died in 2002 and since then her husband and daughter, Natalie, 30, have devoted many hours to raising about £100,000 for local charities in her memory.

“It grieves me to think that whoever did this might have already benefited from one of those charities.”

Mr Rush, who retired after his wife’s death, believes the incident on Thursday night may be linked to other damage inflicted at his home in Castle Street, Conisbrough, in recent months.

“This is not a random attack on my wife’s grave. It has definitely been targeted. I have informed the police and they said they need witnesses to come forward to take the investigation further.

“Somebody may have seen the perpetrator going in or out of the cemetery last Thursday night.

“Whoever did this is a coward.

“I was absolutely disgusted when I saw what had happened.

Mr Rush thinks a hammer has been used to smash pieces off the gravestone.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Rotherham Hospital charities and the Aurora Centre at Mexborough received donations from the annual Rush to Walk which was set up in memory of Mrs Rush, who worked as a nurse.

South Yorkshire Police are investigating the attack, on the night of Thursday, September 25.

A spokesman said: “Police are aware of further reports of criminal damage at the 58-year-old’s home in Conisbrough.

“There is no evidence at this time to suggest a link between the incidents. The local Safer Neighbourhood Team are providing support and reassurance to the victim.”

Witnesses can call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 244 of September 26, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.