A VILLAGE has been left in shock after a tree planted by a terminally-ill mum for her two boys was snapped in half by vandals.

People in Grove have said they couldn't believe their eyes and called for justice after the weeping willow was destroyed this week.

Dominique Hill, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer last March, planted the sapling herself at a ceremony attended by about 100 villagers just three weeks ago.

The 44-year-old, who was told in November she had just three months to live, was on a long-overdue honeymoon with her husband Darren when the attack happened.

She had planted the tree with her boys Toby, seven, and Callum, five, so they would always have somewhere to go, sit and remember her.

She chose a weeping willow, she said, because she had memories of playing in the weeping willow in her own garden with her dad before he died when she was Callum's age.

Sharing a picture of the attack on Facebook, the former Army dental nurse at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon simply wrote: "So so sad!! Really sad."

One of Mrs Hill's closest friends Megan Heley, who helped arrange for the tree to be planted, said: "Everyone has been outraged and upset by it.

"I don't understand at all.

"With the way everyone feels about it there is no way we wouldn't be able to get a replacement, but it all depends whether Dom wants to."

Graham Mundy, clerk of Grove Parish Council which also helped with the planting by the Letcombe Brook, told the Oxford Mail: "To say that I am disgusted at this act of vandalism is an understatement."

He also reported the attack to police, who said neighbourhood officers would make house-to-house enquiries and see if there could be any CCTV footage.

Yesterday Ms Heley spoke to Nicholsons Garden Centre in Bicester which provided the tree, and said managers had offered to provide a replacement and plant it free of charge, if that was what Mrs Hill wanted.

Some on Facebook suggested putting a plaque or notice by the tree to explain its significance could protect it against mindless vandalism, and others called for whoever destroyed the tree to face police action.

Friends from across Grove and beyond quickly shared their outrage and disbelief on social media.

Emma Jones said: "This is disgusting. How could anyone do this? I'm speechless."

And Ronnie O'Connor wrote on Facebook: "Speechless. I’m so so sorry xxxx"

Mrs Hill became a minor celebrity in Grove after she defied her diagnosis and started a 'bucket list' of all the dreams she wanted to make come true in the time she had left.

With the help of dozens of friends she has had a belated 40th birthday party, a spa weekend with friends, dyed her hair pink and braided it (before it fell out because of chemotherapy), gone on several holidays with Mr Hill and the boys, created a 'love lock' gate at the Betjeman Millennium Park in Wantage and flown in a plane over Oxfordshire with the family.

Almost all of their adventures have been made possible thanks to fundraising by family and friends, who themselves have jumped out of planes, gone on sponsored runs, shaved their heads and organised charity bingo nights.

The weeping willow tree was also made possible with help from friends as well as Grove Parish Council.

Speaking after the planting at the time she said: "The reason I really want to plant a willow tree was sentimental."

She had also been hoping to raise funds for a bench to go near the tree where her boys and others could sit in quiet thought.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call police on 101.