Vandals deface new garden and car park at Maitland No. 1 Sportsground

Heedless vandals have defaced a new council car park and garden just two weeks after a similar attack on a local park.

The revamped site at the upgraded Maitland No. 1 Sportsground was left in a mess when plants were ripped out of the ground and strewn across the car park in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A nearby resident told Fairfax Media an alarm went off at the sportsground about 2am Saturday, but it did not seem like it was cause for concern.

The resident then woke up on Saturday morning to realise what the commotion was.

The James Street car park has since been repaired by council staff, but the attack has prompted a call for public help and information to find the culprits.

It comes in the same month a Gillieston Heights park was trashed in similar fashion. 

Less than a week after Maitland City Council Mayor Peter Blackmore officially opened the park in honour of World War I hero Joseph Maxwell VC, it was targeted by vandals.

Nearby residents discovered the damage which included gardens being ripped up and turf destroyed.

Maitland councillor Philip Penfold was alerted to the weekend’s sportsground vandalism. 

He took to one of his public social media accounts to condemn the vandals and implore the public to help catch the people who trashed the site.

Cr Penfold’s post on Facebook attracted fierce anger and disappointment that the revamped site was hit.

“What is wrong with these people that do mindless and meaningless damage like this. I just dont [sic] see what they get out of it?” one person commented.

“This is a disgrace. Whoever did that should be made to fix it when they get caught,” another said.

“So selfish, if you don't want to utilize [sic] community facilities, that's fine, but no one has the right to damage or destroy the facilities that the rest of us appreciate,” another third comment said.

The sportsground, which is the home of the Maitland Pickers Rugby League Club, was recently refurbished in an $8.6 million upgrade.

Pickers president Frank Lawler said he was disappointed after heard about the vandalism on social media. 

He said it was a senseless act to trash something that was nice for the community.

“They’re grubs aren’t they?” He said.

They’re grubs aren’t they? There’s no need for it.

Maitland Pickers Rugby League Club president Frank Lawler

“There’s no need for it.”

The Pickers have not moved back into the No.1 Sportsground following the refurbishment. Mr Lawler said they were still waiting to hear a date they could start playing at the upgraded ground.

Cr Penfold pointed out that Maitland Council offered a reward for information that leads to the conviction of people who vandalise council property.

Council’s Vandalism Reporting Policy states the maximum reward was $3,000 for information including court evidence that leads to a conviction.

Incidents of vandalism must be reported to the police and an event number be obtained.

Any person providing information must not be associated with the criminal offence.

Information should be reported to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or online at nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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