DEVASTATED parents Josh and Sara King have told of their heartbreak after vandals cut up the Christmas lights they put up in memory of their baby daughter.

Josh and Sara King lost newborn Emily in 1999 from a staphylococcus bacterial infection.

A year later they decided to decorate their house and garden with angel lights at Christmas in her memory.

But after putting up the lights this year, they were devastated to discover the illuminations had been cut up.

Josh, 59, of Purley Close said: “It was the last thing of our little girl that we had left.

“I can’t believe someone can be so evil and vindictive.

"It’s not large display and its only at Christmas time they go up, to have this done is just awful.

“This is the very first time it has happened and my wife was heartbroken.

“All we did was move here to have peace and quiet. We get on with everyone here and we had to wake up to that, it has destroyed us.”

On the day Emily died Sara, 46, was in St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester recovering from a hernia operation.

At the time Josh was staying at his sister’s home because it was closer to the hospital his wife was in.

He was holding Emily in his arms when she died in April 1999 at just eight weeks old.

Josh said: “I will never forget the haunting look of despair on my wife’s face when we told her.

“Emily was a beautiful baby. We didn’t celebrate Christmas that year, we just couldn’t. Then in 2000 we decided to get some lights and decorate our house and garden in memory of her.”

From then they opened their garden to their neighbours to enjoy the display and think about Emily.

If donations were made the couple gave them out to various charities that help parents who have lost a baby to cot death.

Josh told the Adver: “We always put up those lights but now they’re gone forever.

“They’re beyond repair and our link with our daughter is gone.

But she said: "There’s good and kind people out there because we put a sign out in our garden explaining the vandalism. People have come round to donate some lights to us.

“It made me feel quite emotional and I’m not the sort of man who can be easily moved but it did move me.”

Sara and Josh called the police after it happened but not much can be done because they didn’t have CCTV to catch the person who did it.

Now the couple are now planning to have cameras installed outside their home.