Community vows to fight back after defibrillator destruction

The daughter of the man whose legacy to Mossley has been destroyed by mindless vandals has spoken out about the destruction that has angered the town.

DAMAGED: the defibrillator cover (Picture thanks to North West Ambulance Service)

British Transport Police are hunting a gang of youngsters who smashed up a life saving defibrillator at Mossley Station on the morning of Wednesday, December 28.

Pieces of the equipment were found on the track after the group’s wrecking spree which also included an attack on the ticket office and entrance foyer.

It is believed the yobs, who may even have used the equipment on themselves, then caught a Manchester Victoria bound train.

The incident comes less than a month after the defibrillator cover was replaced after a previous attack earlier this year. No-one was ever caught or charged.

Now the community is rallying behind calls to start a fund to replace the defibrillator which is expected to cost more than £2,000.

The defibrillator, its original polycarbonate protective cover and installation were paid out of a bequest of local man, Bernard Murphy, a former community responder.

Now, Bernard’s daughter, Nicola Smith, has added her own thoughts on the incident.

Writing on social media Nicola said: “My dad Bernard Murphy was a very forgiving man but I think this may have made him mad had he still been with us.

“We were hoping this legacy may have meant that someone was given a second chance at life that he sadly didn’t get.

“Christmas is always one of the worst times for the family left behind and you recall happy memories and legacies that he left behind. His, thanks to some mindless idiots, is one that is marred with sadness.

“I echo the thoughts of many comments that I hope a member of their family don’t need this life saving piece of equipment.“

The plaque for the defibrillator which was installed in memory of Bernard Murphy

Andrew Stone is also a community first responder and local volunteer for North West Ambulance Service. He helped repair the previous bout of vandalism with the aid of a £100 grant from Mossley Town Council.

He told the Correspondent: ”I am shocked and frustrated but we are not going to let a few idiots deprive Mossley of this life saving equipment.

“It happened around 6.40am on Wednesday and someone messaged me to say what had gone on.

“I’m not sure of all the facts but it seems the group had been seen on Scout Green and were making their way back to catch the first train out.

“They were congregating around bottom Mossley, got to the station and started smashing the ticket office up. There were boot marks everywhere.

“They smashed the shutters and smashed the case on the wall. They took the defibrillator out and whether they were trying to shock each other I don’t know.

“The place was in a right state and from what I heard bits were retrieved from the track.

“Network Rail and the British Transport Police are trying to get footage from the CCTV cameras. Hopefully, there should be enough there to help with identification.”

Andrew describes Bernard as “a massive inspiration to me and many other community
responders.

COVERED: The defib out of action after it was vandalised the first time

“This alone will have helped to save many lives in Mossley and other communities,” he said.I’ll be pushing and working with many other community minded members of our community to replace the defib.”

Town Councillor, Ellie Shember-Critchley also worked extensively to get the defibrillator in place at the Station, is determined all the equipment should be replaced as soon as possible.

“The worst thing that can happen is that negativity prevails,” she says. “I’d rather we just got on with getting a defib back while BTP do their work on sorting the criminals.”

News of the vandalism has been met by revulsion in many quarters. And Councillor Shember-Critchley posted details of a message of support.

It read: “I am one of the team leaders in charge of the volunteer police cadets at Ashton. These are 13-18 year olds who take part in a wide range of community events.

“We would like to offer our services to help raise the money to get another defib in place. We can do bag packs, community events or tin shaking.

“Our cadets are keen to get involved as they want to show the local community that not all young people are involved in this sort of mindless behaviour.”

 

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