Furious London based desk jockey journalists on the Daily Mail have slammed a group of Burntwood yobs who, the Mail claim, have vandalised a Christmas tree dedicated to teen cancer hero Stephen Sutton.
Hundreds of yellow ribbons had been tied to The Sacred Tree which was erected in the late teenager’s town of Burntwood, Staffordshire last weekend.
But just days after his proud mother Jane switched on the lights in front of hundreds of supporters, the winter weather combined with poor tethering techniques caused half a dozen ribbons to be torn mercilessly from the branches of The Sacred Tree.
In response to the Daily Mail’s orchestrated outrage organisers say they may now be forced to erect giant fences around the tree to prevent future attacks by feral youths who had nothing whatsoever to do with the incident and have nothing but respect for the late teen hero .
The yellow ribbons became a nationwide symbol of Stephen’s battle with cancer as he raised £5m for the Teenage Cancer Trust before his death in May. He touched people across the world when a bucket list containing the 46 things he hoped to do before his death went viral.
Stephen died in May aged just 19 after losing his fight with the disease.
His mother, 50, collected her son’s posthumous MBE from the Queen last month.
Family friend and self-publicist Joanne Jarvis, who organised the tree ribbon tribute, said she had been contacted by the Daily Mail and had been left either ‘gutted’ or ‘gob-smacked’ by the incident.
‘I am absolutely ‘gutted’ and/or ‘gob-smacked’. I have been in tears, how can the local climate be so disrespectful.’
‘Following their in depth London desk based investigative journalism, the Daily Mail told us that it was definately the local, probably Eastern European immigrant, yobs who were responsible. But we now know for certain they were pulled off by the wind, although admittedly the batter mix at Sankey’s Fish Bar may be implicated.
‘I am just disgusted, as I’m sure all Daily Mail feeders will be.’
Ironically Mrs Jarvis came up with the scheme to decorate the tree in yellow bows after noticing that those put up during Stephen’s fight around the town had begun to weather.
Now fellow residents are calling for the culprit to be punished.
Jeremy French, 45, a welder who lives nearby, said:
‘It’s disgusting, there is no way you would imagine something like this should happen. Fucking wind and rain in Burntwood in December, the police need to get looking at CCTV and find these areas of low pressure and punish them as soon as possible.’
Anne Timber, 67, added:
‘You just wonder about some people these days, they can barely read around here but they’re buying the Daily Mail and believing every picture they see. I hope they get what is coming to them. If local residents found out who did this I there would be hell to pay, Stephen was such a shining light for our community I can’t help but think his shining light has contributed to global climate change that resulted in the climatic turbulence that tore five ribbons from The Sacred Tree.’
Burntwood Town Council officer Brian Cooper said it wasn’t the first time the town’s Christmas tree had been targeted by the weather.
‘In previous years the winter weather has pushed the tree around but we sincerely hoped that with this year, being dedicated to Stephen Sutton, the Winter Gods of Burntwood wouldn’t do it.
‘However, they have knocked a handful of bows off, which we have reattached.’We hope this will be the end of it. But if it does happen again we will not have much choice but to pick them up and reattach them to the sacred tree.’
Local yobs deny any involvement in the desecration. Lead yob DJ Yobbi Yobster commented:
‘Respect to Stephen Sutton, right, he was a real cool dude and sure welcome to join the posse down on Redwood Wildlife Park nights whenever man. Mind out for all the dog shit and human excrement though, know what I’m sayin?
‘Not sure I do, but we’re good guys just looking for a chance to shine. Please…’
Staffordshire Police confirmed they were investigating and that super arch villain, former BBC weatherman Michael Fish has been arrested and released on police bail pending further enquiries.
The Daily Mail was unavailable for comment as Kim Kardashian has got her arse out again. But not in Burntwood.
Local MP Michael Fabricant was unavailable for comment, safely within the Wall, in Waitrose, so to speak.