ORGANISERS of parkruns at Locke Park have hit out at mindless vandals who trashed the park's defibrillator at the weekend - putting the lives of young runners at risk.

The Friends of Locke Park and the team behind Barnsley Parkrun installed the defibrillator at the start of the year after they received funding from a local pharmaceutical firm.

It was mounted on the wall of park's cafe in a protective housing, and was available to the local community in emergencies.

However, in a statement today, organisers of the runs say the unit was vandalised sometime between last Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning - hours before a junior race.

The group said: "The box was found broken open by our volunteers arriving to set up for Sunday's junior parkrun. Fortunately they found the defibrillator device discarded in nearby bushes.

"The parkrun team and the Friends are working to have the defibrillator checked over and re-installed at the cafe as soon as possible.

"If anybody has any information as to who may have carried out this act of vandalism, please contact the local police quoting incident number 328."