The son of a beloved Brockley chef who was commemorated in a park bench has described his family’s suffering after it was cruelly stolen.

Aldo Piscina, whose dad Rudi died suddenly aged 52 in March, branded the thieves “scumbags” as he vowed to replace the bench which went missing on Friday night.

Rudi’s bench was unveiled at the Crofton Park Railway Garden on June 1 after money from the sale of Crofton Park tote bags were donated to a memorial for ‘Chef Rudi’ who owned Longhorn Diner.

Engraved on it were the words: “Loving you is easy. Forgetting you is impossible,” which were written by Rudi’s mum, Maria, and translated from Italian.

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The bench was installed in the Railway Garden in June

After it disappeared on Friday evening, Aldo had to break the news to his family the following day.

READ MORE: Son of Brockley diner owner says family is 'indebted' to community at memorial bench unveiling

“It was so hard. I had to say: ‘Dad’s bench; it’s gone’. My grandma was in shock.

“It’s just so selfish and cruel and vile. What scumbag would do this to my family?”

Aldo, who works two jobs, admitted he has struggled to focus since finding out about the theft.

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Aldo is trying to stay strong since the bench was stolen

“I’m feeling really volatile because of this.

“I didn’t think it would affect me this much. At the end of the day, it’s just a plank of wood, but that means so much more to me than looking at a grave because it’s so much more positive,” he told News Shopper.

Despite the family’s suffering, Aldo praised the Crofton Park community for its support.

“Residents have come out again to say they’re sorry to hear about it and they’re offering to help.

“It really makes me see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the community’s help we can get this sorted.”

He also described the popularity of the Crofton Park Railway Garden since it was opened last month.

“People were loving it. They were using the garden and the bench every day – people were even sunbathing on it on Friday afternoon.

“It was all was fine until someone tried to ruin everything.”

In addition to Chef Rudi’s memorial, another engraved bench was stolen from the garden in the same evening.

“Not only are we suffering but now that poor family is suffering too,” Aldo said

Rudi’s family is planning a fundraising event to raise money for a replacement bench – which they hope the community will get behind.

Through tears, Aldo said: “This has made us stronger. I can’t believe how astounding people are and how they have rallied around me and my family in times of trouble.”

A Met Police spokeswoman confirmed no arrests have been made and no further police action will be taken about the theft of the benches.