A memorial to Lee Rigby has been vandalised just days before the fourth anniversary of the British soldier’s shocking murder.
Among the items damaged at the shrine was a teddy bear left by the soldier’s young son, Jack.
Family friends called the attack on the memorial “heartbreaking”.
Rigby, who served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was killed on May 22, 2013.
The 25-year-old’s murder shocked the nation.
Off-duty, he was attacked in Woolwich, south-east London, by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale near his barracks.
He was initially rammed with a car, then hacked to death by Adebolajo and Adebowale, who then dragged his body into the road.
They waited at the scene of the crime until police arrived and said they had attacked Rigby to avenge the death of Muslims by British soldiers.
Adebolajo was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2014, he lost an appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Adebowale was ordered to serve at least 45 years in jail.
The site of the memorial has now been cordoned off by police.
“I am disgusted,” said Lorna Taylor, 49, a friend of Mr Rigby’s mum Lyn. “I can’t believe anyone would want to do this. It’s heartbreaking.
“They have slashed everything down with a knife even a memorial banner to Lee we had specially made.
“Even a teddy left by Lee’s son Jack has been cut down and thrown over a wall,” she told the Express.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 11:44hrs on Thursday, May 18 to a report that flags at the Lee Rigby memorial in Hillreach, Charlton – opposite the Royal Artillery Barracks – had been damaged, with some possibly stolen.
“Officers have attended and are making enquiries; a crime scene is in place.
“Local officers will be conducting reassurance patrols.”
A permanent memorial to him was raised in St George’s Garrison Church, near the Barracks.