Hayley Hayles, a 51 year old mother of two from Nottingham, was devastated when she visited her son's memorial only to find it had been vandalised. Her son, Dale Prescott, had committed suicide in November and the family set up a memorial with photos and flowers around a chosen tree in Whitegate Woods, Nottingham. A passerby in the woods had found the memorial and scrawled the words 'selfish bastard' across the photo of Dale and left his mother inconsolable. Mrs Hayes said: "I got there and when I saw what had been put on the picture I got quite upset. His sister came down and tried to rub it off but I was inconsolable. How could someone do that? He never did anything to anyone, how can you say something so awful about someone who is no longer here? It is so cruel. Dale was the kindest, funniest man you could know, he made occasions fun and everyone loved to be around him. The person who did this obviously doesn’t know him very well at all."
Dale was a father of four and his family, including his partner Judy and their kids, enjoy visiting the memorial to speak to him and let him know what's going on in their life. They find it comforting to have a chance to speak with their father again, so for someone to deface that is particularly cruel. The children haven't been able to visit since the profanity was found, and his partner spoke to talk about the effect its had on their family: "I am really upset and angry about it, it is so disrespectful to do something like this. Everyone that knew Dale loved him, he was so kind. My children are all really upset about it, it is already upsetting enough for them as it is so this is not helpful. I hope that we can find out who did this, it is just nasty."
The local community has banded together to offer the family support at this trying time, and people have offered to help and replace the picture with some even suggesting donations to put a plaque at the spot in the future. In the meantime, Nottinghamshire Police are still investigating the incident and have appealed for information. A spokesman said: "We’re investigating a report of criminal damage caused to a memorial in Whitegate Wood, Clifton. The damage was discovered at 4pm on Monday. We’re appealing for anyone with any information about the damage caused to the memorial to call us on 101, quoting incident number 154 of 27 February 2018."