ST HELENS Council's armed forces champion has branded vandalism inflicted on one of the Silent Soldier 'Tommies' as "completely unacceptable".

The Tommy soldier on Phoenix Brow in the town centre was deliberately damaged by vandals.

Meanwhile, the Tommy silhouette in Thatto Heath also sustained damage, with the council saying it is "unclear" whether this was sustained accidentally or deliberately.

Images had sparked concern on social media, with fears being voiced that the artwork had been the victim of vandalism.

However, online comments by Star readers have suggested the silhouette may have been damaged accidentally by children with a football.

Councillor Lynn Clarke, armed forces champion for St Helens Council, said: “It remains unclear whether the damaged Tommy soldier located on a grass verge by Bates Crescent was accidental - as reported on social media - or a deliberate act of vandalism.

“Accidental or not, this, together with the deliberate damage to the Tommy Soldier on Phoenix Brow in the town centre, is completely unacceptable and like the vast majority of residents of the borough, I am shocked and saddened by the mindless actions of a few.

"I am aware that similar incidents of vandalism are happening across the country, but this in no way excuses the damage done here in our town."

She added: "I would like to thank those residents that have attempted to mend both statues - two of 24 installed across the borough to honour the brave British and Commonwealth soldiers who served and sacrificed so much in World War One.

“The feedback we’ve received since the Tommies have been installed has been overwhelmingly positive and they are being admired and respected by the majority of residents and visitors. I would therefore urge anyone who witnesses vandalism against the figures taking place to contact the council with as much information as possible, so that those responsible can be held accountable.”