Vandalism to gnome delays charitable sale

The damaged Dumpty, with his eyes removed and golden coin stolen.
The damaged Dumpty, with his eyes removed and golden coin stolen.

The charitable sale of a giant gnome – which was damaged by vandals – has been delayed, after the colourful character could not be repaired in time.

Earlier this month, the Gazette reported that Dumpty had been attacked while he was staying outside our office on Bondgate Without.

At some point over the weekend of October 9 to 11, the figure, who is more than 11-feet tall, had his eyes removed and a golden coin at the side of his head stolen.

It has emerged that Dumpty has a cracked back and this damage is believed to have also happened during his stint at the Gazette, because he was moved and twisted out of position several times by strangers during his stay.

The gnome has become something of a celebrity after a series of public appearances throughout north Northumberland over recent months.

He was set to be auctioned off last Sunday, with money from the sale, as well as his stops beforehand, going towards paying for the headstone of Aidan Jackowiak Smith, who died in May, aged four, after suffering respiratory failure. The Alnwick lad had the rare genetic disorder Cloves Syndrome, with huge swelling to his face and body.

But the sale, to take place at Alnwick Auctions, will have to wait until the end of next month now.

His owner Ivan Laidler said: “Dumpty didn’t go up for auction as planned because we ran out of time to fix him. His back has been pushed in so this needs to be repaired and repainted and we need to carry out other repairs on him.”

Aidan’s dad Karl said: “Shame on whoever is responsible. It is throwing Ivan’s tremendous gesture back in his face.”