CHARLES GRAHAM - A new low in crime

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HERE are plenty of low life crimes that get me down, not least the persecution of pensioners by bogus official types.

But I think the scum who stole the bronze plaque to Warrington bomb victims Tim Parry (pictured) and Johnathan Ball have managed to plumb new depths.

There it has proudly stood for almost 20 years on Bridge Street, marking an outrage by the IRA which robbed two families of their sons and brought the awful reality of the Troubles terrifyingly close to home here.

The killing proved a turning point in the Northern Ireland conflict, such was the revulsion it created. It also turned former Wigan schoolboy Tim’s dad Colin into an international force for good as he embarked on a remarkable quest to bring long-feuding communities together.

And so the plaque was laden with potent personal meaning and historical symbolism: a reminder, like our cenotaphs, of the horrors of conflict. That should penetrate the basest human conscience, you would have thought. But now we know otherwise.

Police think the thief wanted the plaque for scrap, getting at best £30 for it. Mr Parry, who is renowned for his calm in the face of adversity, expressed his “utter disgust” at such a despicable crime.

A reward has now been offered in a bid to catch those responsible and I hope to goodness it brings a result. The felon deserves to be named, shamed and exposed to utmost in national revulsion.