Vandals have damaged a tree planted in memory of one of the victims of gunman Derrick Bird.
The cherry tree is sited behind a commemorative bench in tribute to Isaac “Spike” Dixon, 65, who was among 12 people shot dead by Bird across West Cumbria on June 2, 2010.
The retired Sellafield worker and part-time mole-catcher was killed while on a country road between Haile and Egremont as Bird, 52, went on a shooting spree that also injured 11 others.
Bird, who went on to kill himself, pulled alongside him in his taxi as he walked home and blasted him with two gunshots.
Police have appealed for information after several branches of the sapling have been torn off in the past week and the stem has been broken.
The tree is planted in a field close to a skate park in Egremont. A police spokeswoman said: “The damage itself will be considered as criminal but in the circumstances...the PCSO (involved) describes it to be even more disgusting.”