A family has been left devastated after their work to open a restaurant in York was destroyed by vandals.
They went on a wrecking spree at Yemen Heaven on Walmgate, smashing toilets, tearing down wallpaper, breaking windows, smearing paint on the walls and throwing ornaments on the floor.
Muna Al Maflehi, 48, had spent weeks renovating the restaurant only to come in on Tuesday morning to find these scenes.
She broke down in tears when she saw the destruction.
Muna has five children. They have set up a fundraiser to help their mum rebuild the business – you can donate here.
“I am absolutely heartbroken and devastated for my mom,” they said in a Facebook post. “I woke up today early morning from my mum’s excitement to continue work on our amazing project. Just for it all to be absolutely destroyed into pieces.”
Heartbroken and defeated
The family moved to York in 2017 and Muna set up Yemen Heaven two years later. It closed during the pandemic but started planning to open the new restaurant inside the former Spread Eagle pub earlier this year.
Son Tom Yafai helped set up the fundraiser. He said: “When we came to work today (Tuesday) we found out that the whole place had been vandalised and thousands worth of equipments and tools had been stolen.
“My mother is heartbroken and defeated and it hurts so much to see her like this.
“All her life she strives to work to take care of her five kids as a single mother. She has been working non-stop and made so much amazing progress with the place.
“We were planning on opening very soon but now… its all gone. Whoever did this I hope you rot in hell but we need help we need to get the word out and do something about it.”
They have reported the crime to police.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Police investigating an incident at the former Spread Eagle Inn in Walmgate, York, have arrested a 38-year-old local man on suspicion of burglary.
“It occurred overnight between Monday and Tuesday (13-14 Dec 2021) and was reported to the police at 8.46am.
“Following enquiries, the suspect was arrested at 4.45pm on Tuesday.”
The man has been questioned and released on conditional bail while enquiries continue.
If you have any information you can contact police on the numbers below.
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