A teenager who has spent 12 years lovingly tending his war hero granddad's memorial has been reported to police – for criminal damage.
Since he was seven years old, Kurtis Green has diligently looked after the village memorial near the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk – and was thanked by the monarch for his hard work.
But officials at Dersingham Parish Council have taken a rather different view and reported him to the police for his unpaid work – which they have labelled criminal damage.
Kurtis, whose grandfather fought in the Second World War, was quizzed for two hours at a police station after he added a pipe to water the flowers without permission.
Since he was a little boy, Kurtis has spent hundreds of hours tending the memorial, using his own pocket money to buy gardening tools.
When he was 15, he persuaded councillors to spend £20,000 on restoring the area with raised flower beds, new railings, seating and block paving.
Kurtis worked tirelessly to help with the project and won a Young People of the Year award after he was praised by villagers.
His efforts were then recognised by the Queen in a letter after the local Royal British Legion won a prize for having Norfolk's most improved war memorial.
But he got into trouble in February when he connected a new water supply so the flower beds could be safely watered.
He and fellow villager John Houston, 65, assumed they were authorised to do the work because the pipes for the water supply had already been placed in the ground as part of the restoration project.
But Dersingham Parish Council complained to the police that they had done the work without its permission and accused them of criminal damage and theft.
Kurtis, who works as a chef at a care home, told his local paper: "It is just so pathetic. All we have been trying to do is help the community and we are being treated as if we are criminals.
"We were accused of causing criminal damage by digging up earth to see if the existing pipe was OK, but we left the area just as we found it.
"I can't understand what the theft is supposed to have been"
A spokesman for Norfolk police said: "The circumstances are now being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. Police are aware of Kurtis's efforts in cleaning up the memorial and we will work with all concerned to try to reach an acceptable resolution."
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