Victims' memorial 'in bad taste'

Herald Series: Derrick Bird killed 12 people before he turned his gun on himself in West Cumbria Derrick Bird killed 12 people before he turned his gun on himself in West Cumbria

A memorial plaque to the victims of the West Cumbria shootings has been positioned underneath a cannon.

The plaque was erected to commemorate the 12 victims of taxi driver Derrick Bird from his shooting spree in June 2010 before he went on to kill himself.

The memorial has been placed directly below the cannon facing out of a castle turret in Seascale, Cumbria. It reads: "In Memory Of All Of The Victims Of The West Cumbria Shootings 2nd June 2010."

Seascale was the scene of three of the fatal shootings in which Bird gunned down Michael Pike, 64, who was cycling through his home village, another villager 66-year-old Jane Robinson who was delivering door-to-door catalogues, and estate agent Jamie Clark, 23, who was shot at the wheel of his car.

It was reported the £1,000 plaque was the idea of the Seascale Community Day Committee which was set up in the wake of the tragedy.

But one villager, Brenda Parsons, 74, said it was in "bad taste" and its location "beggars belief".

She told the Carlisle News and Star: "We think it is horrendous. Not only the wording which sounds like it's celebrating the shootings but by the plaque being put underneath a cannon.

"It just absolutely beggars belief. The community of Seascale was deeply traumatised by what happened and they just want to forget.

"There has been trees planted and seats donated to remember the victims - surely that's enough. With the plaque saying West Cumbria Shootings in large letters, it's as if it was an event to be proud of. We just think it's in such bad taste."

Committee member Councillor David Moore defended the plaque which he said had been supported by the families of the victims and others injured on the day: "Until Mrs Parsons raised the issue, the cannon has never been mentioned before. It is a historical monument, it's not an active firearm."

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