A kind-hearted stonemason is showing there are good people in the world after repairing vandalised gravestones for free.

Anthony Knox, who owns Bedfordshire-based Memorial Makeovers, was moved to repair the graves at Westfield Road Cemetery in Harpenden after hearing that nine were toppled over and smashed by vandals over one night last month.

He contacted St Albans City and District Council and offered his services, since repairing three of the graves and waiving his bill of £1,600.

Mr Knox said: "I thought it was a terrible, shocking thing that had happened and as a stonemason, it saddened me to see all these broken headstones.

"If I hadn’t done this there is a danger that it might not have been done at all. The damage was extensive, but they now look as good as new."

Mr Knox, who is also a sergeant with the Air Training Corps, believes his military career has given him a "respect for the dead" and hopes his efforts will show that there are good people in the world.

Most of the plots that were damage date back several decades, and it was feared the families who owned them might not be traced or would be unable to pay for repairs.

Cllr Beric Read, who leads business and the community for the council, said: "The whole community will be grateful to Anthony for volunteering his services in this way. It was a magnificent gesture.

"There were serious concerns that the graves might not be repaired because it was proving difficult to find the owners. Anthony has shown himself to be a very caring and public-spirited stonemason and has done an outstanding job."

Mr Knox donated two of his working days to fix as many of the memorials as he could.