THE owners of The Cottage Indian Restaurant which was defaced by vandals on Friday morning have thanked the community for their support and hard work.

Graffiti was sprayed across the exterior of one of Warrington’s most well-known and beloved landmarks.

It is thought that the vandals struck shortly after 5.30am on Friday, with messages scrawled in red and blue paint including ‘justice for Shukri Abdi’.

The restaurant’s management – who took over the site in September 2018 – told the Warrington Guardian that these claims do not relate to the Cottage’s owners or employees.

Hundreds of residents expressed their disappointment at the shocking act and many stepped forward to help the restaurant.

By Friday evening, all of the graffiti had been cleaned but the owners say that there is restoration work that still needs completing.

Posting an updated picture on Facebook, they said: "This is what community spirit, customers and our dedicated staff could do.

"People of Warrington your building is looking as it did before the horrific act of criminal vandalism.

"This is not finished, there is quite a bit of restoration work that requires time, specialists and huge amount of resources.

"Hopefully we are working on it and we will do everything to make sure this amazing piece of British heritage and landmark of Warrington is restored.

"We have to specially thank Josh Lee and his team for tremendous work.

"Ian Brakenbury from Warrington Borough Council for helping to organise the paint and speed up the red tape to carry out the much needed work."

Cheshire Police confirmed that they are investigating the vandalism at the Cottage.

Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number IML745181.

Information can also be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111.