Second vandal found guilty in Glenwood desecration

Glenwood cemeterian and grounds manager Helma Oonk stands over a pair of toppled markers. (Chad Ibbotson/Gazette File Photo)


About a year and half after two vandals chose to enter Glenwood Cemetery and desecrate over 150 gravestones and monuments- some of them dating back to 19th century- the criminal portion of the matter has come to a close.

In Picton’s Youth Court on Wednesday, Justice Stephen Hunter delivered his verdict against one the two males who were charged with toppling and destroying $200,000 worth of gravestones at Picton’s ‘City of the Dead’.

Hunter found the young man, aged 15 and a resident of Kingston at the time of the acts vandalism, guilty.

The young man was sentenced 80 hours of community service as well as 12 months of probation and ordered to undergo counselling.

Among the orders in the verdict included that the person was not to go on the Glenwood Cemetery grounds unless attending a burial and only then could do so with written permission of a Board Member.

The young person’s co-accused, a Picton resident who was 17 at the time of the heinous act of vandalism, pleaded guilty earlier this summer and served as  the crown’s witness during trial.

The Picton resident received a similar sentence including 80 hours of community service and 12 months probation.

Both individuals have orders not to be in contact with one another.

In a victim impact statement on behalf of the Glenwood Cemetery Company, the volunteer board, cemetery staff and the families of loved ones interred there, Chair Sandra Latchford said the random damage and destruction of over 154 monuments including those of unique historical importance was devetstaing to all of the aforementioned parties as well as the community at large.

“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of grief, anger, frustration and sorrow. Why would anyone destroy these symbols of love, remembrance and honour? Who could be so uncaring they mutilate the angel marking the grave of a six year old child (Ruth Guest) who died so tragically? What possible satisfaction could anyone get from inflicting such pain on the surviving families?” Latchford wondered.

Restoration and fundraising for the those efforts continue. Due to the wet spring, much of the work was delayed over the summer time but some markers have been rehabilitated and resurrected.

Cemetery officials expect more work will be completed in the spring of 2020.