Father 'Disgusted' By IRA Bomb Plaque Theft

The father of a boy killed in the IRA bombing in Warrington has told Sky News he is "horrified and disgusted" by the theft of a plaque honouring his son and another young victim of the attack.

Johnathan Ball, three, and 12-year-old Tim Parry were killed when two bombs placed in litter bins exploded in Bridge Street in the Cheshire town, in an area crowded with shoppers.

Some 54 people were injured in the attack in March 1993.

The metal plaque in memory of the two boys was taken from a wall, just yards from the main River of Life memorial which was unveiled by the Duchess of Kent.

It is thought to have been stolen between April 20 and May 5.

Tim's father, Colin Parry, who learned about the theft on Thursday, condemned the crime as "despicable" and said he believed metal thieves were to blame.

He told Sky News: "I am horrified and disgusted that somebody would target such an important memorial.

"It is a significant visual attraction and feature in the town centre on the street where the bombing happened.

"You get visitors who stand there and reflect, think and visualise what happened on the day, and they read the words of the memorial. You can clearly see they are affected by it.

"For somebody to target that in this way is frankly, despicable."

He continued: "I have to assume they've got no conscience, they've got little heart or soul for them to target that memorial.

"If they wanted metal - not that I'm suggesting this is right - you can take a grid... something that has not got any emotional power or significance.

"I know they want money and I know people are struggling to make an income during the recession, but that doesn't excuse such an awful act as this," he added.

Jonathan died at the scene while Tim, who was gravely wounded, died days later when doctors switched off his life support machine.

Chief Superintendent Richard Strachan, of Cheshire Police , who is leading the probe into the stolen plaque, told Sky News: "This isn't just a crime of the theft of metal. This is the theft of a piece of this town's heritage.

"It has had a massive impact on the community here, people are very upset.

"We are looking at all the CCTV, not just from the specific site, but the wider town centre area.

"We have got detectives working on this who are absolutely determined to recover the plaque and bring to justice the people responsible."

Two weeks ago, two people were arrested on suspicion of trying to steal metal from the main memorial. Police do not think the cases are linked.