Widower left devastated after ‘evil’ vandal smashes window mural to wife with a brick

A widower has been left devastated after a mural he set up for his wife who died in his arms was destroyed by a vandal.

Bernard Bailey, 76, and wife Ruth, 65, lived on Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath, together for 37 years and are very well known to the local community.

Ruth tragically died in August 2020, 10 days after suffering a cardiac arrest at home in Bernard’s arms, leaving behind four children, Bernard, Dylan, Janine, and Jordane.

Coming in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and followed by lockdowns, Ruth’s death took a particularly tough toll on Bernard.

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Bernard, 76, and Ruth Bailey, 65
Bernard, 76, and Ruth Bailey, 65

However, Bernard decided to celebrate Ruth, known by many as ‘Tell the Truth’ Ruth due to her straightforwardness, by creating a mural in his sitting room window which lit up at night and could be seen by all passer-bys that new her.

This kept him going during the lockdowns, Janine told the Manchester Evening News , and was very popular in the community.

But, on the evening of January 25, local CCTV cameras spotted a person throwing a brick through the window with the mural, wrecking it completely.

“After she passed away dad just started putting up some more pictures of her in the window, which turned into three big pictures with lights all around it,” Janine said.

“Everyone on Briscoe Lane knows about it and she was very well known in the area.

“It’s really lovely at night time when it’s all lit up.”

The mural to Ruth Bailey in the window of her and Bernard's house in Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath
The mural to Ruth Bailey in the window of her and Bernard’s house in Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath

Bernard was at the post office when a neighbor heard a ‘massive bang’, Janine said.

The neighbor shouted out and went round to the house to find a brick had been thrown through the window with the mural on.

“We were absolutely devastated when we first heard. It’s like someone going to a cemetery and vandalizing a grave stone.

“It’s lucky dad wasn’t in too much as he sits right underneath that window most of the time.

“He was mum’s full time carer as she had dementia and he and everyone in the community cared about her so much so for someone to do this is just evil.

“Dad’s had so many go round to the house and ask if he’s okay and a lot of nice messages too which just shows how loved she was.

“It was the biggest funeral in Newton Heath when she died, everyone loved them so much.

The mural boarded up after the incident
The mural boarded up after the incident

“No one can get their head around why someone would do something like this, there’s no explanation for it at all, it’s just disgusting to think people would do this.

“The mural really kept him going.”

The mural has since been moved to the upstairs window for protection.

Bernard told the MEN: “I met Ruth 45 years ago and she was just a beautiful woman inside and out.

“We had four beautiful children together and built a family on Briscoe Lane. She was known as ‘Tell the Truth’ Ruth, as she always told the truth and said what she thought.

“And all the community new this of Ruth and that’s why she was loved by everyone. Her window might of been took but her memory won’t and I will tell you now who ever you are you will not bring me down or the community because I will have my darling Ruth’s memorial window up and ruining again so she can sparkle and bring back joy on our lane.

“Never forgotten ‘Tell the Truth’ Ruth.”

Greater Manchester Police were approached for a comment.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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