COUNCIL bosses have blasted the 'mindless' vandals who graffitied a war memorial.

The mural, which has been painted along the River Walk in Witham, was marked with a rude symbol some time over the weekend.

The graffiti has since been reported to Witham Town Council which has confirmed it will be looking to find a way to remove the graffiti without causing damage to the rest of the mural.

Town clerk, James Sheehy, said: "The memorial located on the River Walk has been mindlessly sprayed over by vandals at a time of national concern over Britain’s war memorials and civic icons.

“Graffiti was reported to the council on Monday and the operations team was dispatched to assess the damage and attempt to sensitively remove the incomprehensible symbol of disrespect that has been made.

"At a time when the national spotlight is very much upon British iconography and memorials, idle hands beggar belief. Incomprehensible ignorance can be the only possible explanation for why somebody can deface a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a crude, phallic symbol."

It came on the same weekend which saw other famous memorials, such as the Cenotaph in London, covered up following civil unrest.

Ongoing protests against racism have seen some statues and monuments vandalised in recent weeks.

The culprits responsible for the vandalism of the Witham war memorial are not yet known and there is no clear indication it was linked to protests taking place nationally.

Mr Sheehy added: "The council is dismayed and disappointed that such an unscrupulous act can be carried out so carelessly.

"It is hoped that the memorial can be restored to its former glory without damage.

"Witham Town Council wishes to assure citizens that no expense will be spared to make right this nauseating misdeed."