Fury as bench donated by Netflix to mark Ricky Gervais show After Life is destroyed by 'disgusting' vandals

NATURE-LOVERS have told of their fury after "disgusting" vandals destroyed a bench donated to mark Ricky Gervais show After Life.

The bench, funded by Netflix, was installed at the arboretum in Nottingham just four months ago with the aim that anyone who has been bereaved could visit.

It was one of 25 benches donated by the streaming giant to honour the series, which follows journalist Tony Johnson after the death of his wife.

But this morning, visitors to the beauty spot discovered it has been torn apart, with just a plank bearing the message 'hope is everything' left untouched.

Vivian O'Boyle, 69, who lives in Highbury Vale, told of her grief at the loss.

"My husband has just died, three weeks ago," she said.

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"I wanted to maybe donate a bench near here as we used to come and sit here every morning, pretty much.

"I knew about the bench – I think it's disgusting, totally disgusting.

"I wonder what goes through people's heads, honestly.

"What is the need to do that? I think in some ways you have got to pity these people."

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She said she still visits the park despite the loss of her husband as she's trying to "still do the things I used to do".

"You don't know what is going on in their lives and so you shouldn't make judgements, but it is a horrible thing to do," she said.

"I still come here because I'm still trying to do things I used to do with my husband. I don't want to try and avoid everything.

"This is such a lovely, peaceful place.

"To think we are so close to the city centre is amazing, you can come here and listen to the birds and the church bells. It's really lovely."

I think it's totally disgusting. What is the need to do that?

One couple, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We don't come here very often so we weren't aware of the bench, but it sounds like it was a wonderful idea.

"It's hard to think why someone would want to do that. It's very sad."

Andy Church, 50, added: "I have just seen what is left of it – it's absolutely despicable. It's completely mindless.

"I loved the show when it was on and I used to like seeing people sat on that bench.

"I really don't know what the world is coming to."

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Ricky Gervais said after donating the benches: “We hope the benches will create a lasting legacy for After Life, as well as become a place for people to visit, and we are thrilled to be associated with [suicide prevention charity] CALM and the great work they do.”

A golden plaque inscribed on the benches reads: "This bench is donated by Netflix to commemorate Ricky Gervais."

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