Standing at the vandalised memorial to their son Corey at Richards Oval in Lismore yesterday are Mark and Ann New with their daughter Jessie. Corey died with three school friends from Kadina High School in a car crash near Suffolk Park in October 2006.
Standing at the vandalised memorial to their son Corey at Richards Oval in Lismore yesterday are Mark and Ann New with their daughter Jessie. Corey died with three school friends from Kadina High School in a car crash near Suffolk Park in October 2006. JERAD WILLIAMS

Vandals attack grave

NEXT week, Mark, Ann and Jessie New will grieve on the fourth anniversary of their son and brother Corey's death.

But before they can, they have to deal with a senseless attack on a public memorial to Corey's memory.

A plaque dedicated to Corey has been scratched and dented, while a pictureof Corey has been callously defaced.

The memorial, now part of the Lismore Workers Football Club home ground at Richards Oval in Brewster Street, was installed in August 2007 after Corey and three of his friends, Bryce Wells, Mitchell Eveleigh and Paul Morris, were killed in a horrific car accident south of Byron Bay in October 2006.

With the fourth anniversary of the crash approaching, Mr and Mrs New said they were shocked by the attack on the memorial.

“I was horrified. It was shocking,” Mr New said.

“If it's not theirs, they shouldn't touch it. It's not hurting anyone. Why vandalise it?”

Speaking at the memorial yesterday, an emotional Mrs New said she hoped the attack was insensitivity on the part of the vandals, rather than malice.

“I think people just do it without thinking of the distress it causes the people that care,” she said.

Mrs New was told of the damage to the memorial last week by a thoughtful council worker.

“He didn't want us to turn up (on the anniversary) and see this. That was really considerate of him,” she said.

The visible hurt on the faces of Ann, Mark and Jessie yesterday brought home the fact that four years on, dealing with Corey's loss is still immensely difficult for thefamily.

“Even coming up to four years, sometimes it's still not real,” Mrs New said.

“But you just go on.”

Mr New said he still expecting at some point to wake up and have Corey back as part of their family.

“His shoes are still at the front door. His bedroom's not touched. It's a big dream. A big nightmare,” he said.

“You take it day by day, it's a hard thing. But we have Jessie. We concentrate on her. She is our pride and joy.”

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