THE beheading of a beloved statue at Toothill Community centre shocked local people.

But council has pledged to get it repaired.

The Watchers, which represents a family looking over the community, was attacked in November.

Mum-of-two Hayley Sproule was on her way home from Westlea Primary school with her nine-year-old daughter when she saw a man pulling and twisting the head of the father figure and decided to challenge him.

The 36-year-old from Toothill said: “He was having a hard time due to it having metal rods running through to keep it attached.

“That’s when I shouted at him, but my anger turned into weariness, knowing he was doing something so destructive. I instantly became a little fearful in case he decided to throw any of the brick down.

“I wasn’t stood idly by, I just wasn’t willing to take any possible abuse from him while I was with my child,” she said.

The vandal finally succeeded in yanking off the head.

The incident was reported to the police.

Designed by Carleton Attwood the statue was unveiled just outside Toothill Community centre in June 1982.

“I was very sad to see this,” said Hayley.

“I’ve been a Toothill resident most of my life and the Watchers were something we as kids would often look at and climb on as it was situated on a wall outside the chip shop.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the damage inflicted on the statue and we are in the process of arranging for it to be repaired.

“We are currently obtaining quotes for the work and hope to have it fixed by the summer.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: " We were called to the Toothill Village Centre at around midday on November 17.

"A 26-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act."