Vandals target Christmas lights in village

4/12/14- Westfield Christmas Lights. SUS-140512-094845001
4/12/14- Westfield Christmas Lights. SUS-140512-094845001

Vandals have stolen and vandalised Christmas lights intended to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice.

Westfield residents decorate their homes and gardens with stunning displays each December to raise thousands of pounds for the hospice.

The spectacle attracts people from miles around who make donations.

But last Saturday night (December 6) a number of residents had their lights stolen and vandalised.

Thieves even stole the light displays above the St Michael’s Hospice banner, pictured here.

In true Christmas spirit people rallied round and donated replacement lights with some sharing their lights with neighbouring properties that had been affected.

One resident said: “We will not let these scum-bags win.”

Rosie Dobinson said: “It’s terrible, everyone makes such an effort decorating their houses and it’s all for a good cause.

“We take our kids every year and put money in the buckets.

“They love it.”

David Pankhurst, who had some of his lights stolen, said: “What I think of these people would be unprintable.”

Dan Straford said: “A number of us were hit.

“I would also like to say a huge thank you for everyone’s support and absolute generosity since the thefts and vandalism.

“People donated their own lights to replace those lost or wrecked.

“We have had an overwhelming amount of generous donations.

“St Michael’s Hospice is such a worthy cause and we love putting Westfield on the map and raising loads of money for them.

Emma Bailey, from the hospice, said: “It’s horrible that this could happen.

“People go to such a great effort with the lights.”

Bruni Llovet, head of marketing at St Michael’s Hospice, said: “Every year our lovely friends in Westfield decorate their houses with Christmas illuminations to fundraise for St Michael’s Hospice. In total they have raised more than £35,000 for us.

“We have been very upset to hear about this and hope the lights are returned soon. The lights still look amazing and it is a great opportunity to come and share the Christmas spirit and donate to the hospice at the same time.”

Sussex Police is investigating and appealing for information.

Witnesses and anyone with information can call Sussex Police on 101. St Michael’s Hospice is based in Upper Maze Hill in St Leonards and provides care for those with life limiting illnesses across the Hastings and Rother areas.