Brighton’s AIDS memorial was left in a sorry state after it was vandalised during the city’s gay pride festival.

It comes as Sussex Police recently announced that 40 arrests were made during last weekend’s Brighton Pride.

Residents in New Steine Gardens woke on Monday to find the statue had been dressed in clothing and had a banana strapped to it.

The statue is situated in the Kemptown district, which is known as the city’s LGBT epicentre.

Chairman Paul Elgood of the Rainbow Foundation which manages the statue told the Argus newspaper that residents were “horrified” by the incident.

He said: “This is a very special place of remembrance for people that lost friends and family to AIDS.

“We were disgusted to see that someone had desecrated the memorial. This is hallowed ground and what these people did was disgraceful.”

David Furnish, the civil partner of Sir Elton John, unveiled the memorial back in 2009.

Sculptor Romany Mark Bruce designed the 11ft-tall bronze artwork featuring two intertwined figures soaring majestically upwards.

The sculpture forms a shadow in the shape of the red ribbon which is the international symbol for HIV/AIDS awareness.