A 20-year-old man from Scunthorpe has been charged by police for destroying one of the imps on the Lincoln Imp Trail in the city centre.
Bradley Pennell, 20, of Ogilvy Drive, Bottesford, Scunthorpe has been charged with criminal damage in relation to the incident, which saw The Community Imp be cut in half at around 4.15am on Wednesday morning.
He has been released on bail and is due to appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court on August 5.
Bradley had been allegedly caught on CCTV and was traced back to his hotel where he was arrested by police.
The imp has been valued at around £20,000, and the damage caused uproar across Lincoln.
All the 30 imps on this year’s trail will be auctioned at the end to raise money for the event’s charity partner, St Barnabas Hospice.
The imp, sponsored by Reach and designed by freelance artist Sian Bristow along with a local schoolgirl, was supposed to be a celebration of the hard work of key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sergeant Paul Mayo of Lincolnshire Police said: “It is not only really disappointing for everyone hoping to enjoy the trail that one if its attractions aimed at celebrating art and culture has been marred by this act of criminal damage, it is also absolutely unacceptable.”
Chris Wheway, Chief Executive at St Barnabas Hospice said: “I am shocked to see the vandalism of the Community Imp in Lincoln city centre. This is disappointing for the child who has designed it, the artist and trail organisers.
“We hope the damage made to this imp can be repaired, as in these difficult times we are reliant on this vital fundraising.
“As the trail’s charity partner, any funds raised from the trail will go directly to St Barnabas Hospice to support the people of Lincolnshire with life-limiting or terminal illnesses.
“We are hopeful that this will be a one-off incident and that people continue to give generously to help our vulnerable patients as they complete the trail.”