IT'S a sad scene today as the memorial bench spotted in the River Tone is now covered in leaves and dirt.

The council have described the incident as a "mindless act of vandalism".

The bench can be seen on the left-hand side of the bridge when facing The Weir coffee shop in French Weir Park.

Taunton Town Council has stated that although the bench will be replaced, it will remain in the river as it's not safe to be retrieved.

Taunton Town Council Events and Operations manager, Craig Stone confirmed: “A police report has been filed and CCTV footage has been shared with them of the incident.

"We have contacted both the Environment Agency and Somerset Council regarding the retrieval of the bench; unfortunately, it is not considered safe to recover it in its current position.

"The Environment Agency have confirmed that this will not cause a blockage to the river and will not increase the risk of flooding.

"Taunton Town Council will seek to replace the bench and memorial plaque as soon as we can.”