Man held over theft of memorial plaque to children killed by IRA bomb

 

A man has been arrested over the theft of a memorial to two children killed by an IRA bomb, police said.

A plaque that formed part of the River of Life, a memorial for victims of the 1993 Warrington blast, was taken from a wall in Bridge Street in Warrington in a suspected metal theft.

Three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry were both killed by two small bombs placed in litter bins on the street, while 54 others were injured.

Cheshire Police said officers arrested a 57-year-old man from the Penketh area of the town on suspicion of theft.

The plaque was recovered in its original state at the time of the arrest.

Richard Strachan, Chief Superintendent for Warrington and Halton, said: "This investigation is progressing successfully and I would like to thank the communities of Warrington for their assistance, and acknowledge the continued support from Warrington Borough Council, particularly the work of town centre CCTV operatives in advancing our enquiries.

"I would urge anyone who recognises the men captured in these CCTV images to contact us as soon as possible."

The children were killed when two bombs exploded within a minute of each other on March 20 1993, one outside a Boots and another outside a McDonald's in an area crowded with shoppers.

Johnathan died at the scene, while Tim was gravely wounded. He died on March 25 1993 when doctors switched off his life support machine.

The day after the bombings the IRA admitted its volunteers had planted the bombs.

The memorial was unveiled by the Duchess of Kent when she opened it as a symbol of continuing life. It was stolen some time between April 20 and May 5.

Following interview by detectives, the arrested man was granted police bail until July 5, pending further investigation.

PA

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