Allotment plot destroyed in vandal attack

Gutted: Stanley's Ball's shed and allotment were burned to the ground.
Gutted: Stanley's Ball's shed and allotment were burned to the ground.

A pensioner is devastated after a shed and allotment that had been with his family for 70 years was destroyed in a fire.

Stanley Ball, 75, visited his plot near the junction of Methley Road and Three Lane Ends in Castleford to find all his plants and a shed containing his tools had been destroyed.

Damage: All Mr Ball's equipment was destroyed.

Damage: All Mr Ball's equipment was destroyed.

Windows were also smashed on a greenhouse he rents at the site, which he visits every day to spend his afternoons.

He said: “When I saw it I was devastated – I felt absolutely sick.

“The damage was colossal. Everything was burned down and the they ripped plants from next door’s plot.

“You get broken into a quite lot but I couldn’t believe they burned it all down like that.

“I was on the verge of packing it all in. I have to buy it all my equipment again because anything that was any use to me was in that shed.”

The shed belonged to another family member for around 60 years and Mr Ball would help out with the work. Mr Ball, from Allerton Bywater, later took over the lease and has worked on it for around 15 years, growing fruit and vegetables. He also used the shed as a workshop. He said the vandals did not appear to want to steal anything, simply to destroy his property.

West Yorkshire Police are investigating the incident as criminal damage.

They were called to the scene at 3.30am on Tuesday, May 22.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information can call 101 or use the “contact us” section of the force’s website.

Glynn Humphries, service director for environment and Streetscene at Wakefield Council, said: “We have met with the plot holders who are understandably angry and upset by this incident and we have provided a skip to help them clear up the damage.

“Any form of vandalism at our sites is completely unacceptable and we would encourage anyone with information to help us identify these people.”