A distraught woman is appealing for witnesses after tributes left on her father’s grave vanished before Christmas.

Helen Williams, 52, of Birkenhead, regularly placed sentimental items and ornaments at Landican Cemetery in front of James Williams’ headstone, but when she went to visit his resting place on Christmas Eve she was horrified to discover a bare gravestone plot with her previously placed items nowhere to be seen.

The Late Mr Williams, formerly of Harcourt Street Birkenhead, passed away 12 and a half years ago and his daughter Helen has tendered to the upkeep of his grave, which he shares with two other family members, ever since.

She said: “I could not believe what I was witnessing. I was crying and screaming. I am totally heartbroken.

“How can anyone do this and be able to sleep at night and to stoop so low? I am in total shock. All the stuff on the grave has been there for two years.

“I will never be able to get over what has happened. It’s like my dad has died again. My Christmas has been ruined.”

Wirral Globe: The late James Williams, formerly of Harcourt StreetThe late James Williams, formerly of Harcourt Street

It is believed that the grave tributes have been removed sometime between December 8 and December 23.

A spokesman for Wirral Borough Council was able to confirm that the items had not been removed by cemetery staff, in what is understood to be an older part of the graveyard that receives fewer visitors.

Anyone who may have any information regarding the incident should call 101 quoting crime number 20000006554.