A grandfather has told of his devastation after his 25 koi and goldfish were killed when a man poured disinfectant into his pond in the middle of the night.
Police are investigating the incident at 60-year-old William Pritchard's retirement complex home.
All of the 25 goldfish and baby koi - costing £500 - died or were found floating in the foamy water.
Horrified William checked his security camera and spotted what appeared to be a man pouring chemicals into his pond.
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He said: "I went to the bedroom window and saw this guy walking away, he was carrying a squeezy bottle in his hand.
"I thought nothing of it.
"I got up later that morning and all the fish were dead in the pond.
"I saw bubbles, foam and dead fish.
"I was gobsmacked. I looked through the videos and the camera caught him.
"I couldn’t work out why he did it.
"The grandkids loved the fish - they had names for them. I haven't the heart to tell them.
"There were one or two fish swimming about on the side and I got them out and put them into water and they didn’t survive."
William had been keeping fish at his retirement housing complex in Runcorn, Cheshire since an injury forced him to retire from his job as a joiner.
"I’d go and sit next to the pond and draw, and it's just been taken away from me," he said.
At about 1.40am on the night of the incident, William's Patterdale terrier, Toto, barked - waking him up, and then he received a notification on his phone from his security system.
The father-of-four showed the footage to partner Pauline, 53, the next day before starting to clear out the pond, pump and filter.
The grandfather-of-eleven said: "I've done it about three or four times.
"I’ve had to scrub the inside of the pond but it’s gone right through the filtration system and knackered it.
"I tried to get it up and running so I found a few pond snails and put them in the water but they died right away."
William estimates it will cost £800 to replace the kit.
He said: "I can either let this go and forget about it but if something happens and he does it again I’ll feel guilty.
"I'm not going to let it knock me back, I’ll push forward as hard as I can."
Cheshire Police said: "At 9.30am on Tuesday 6 July police were called to reports of criminal damage at an address.
"The caller reported that a known man had poured an unknown substance into a garden pond, which was harming the fish.
"Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and the person involved will be spoken to by officers.
"Police are not appealing for information at this time."
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