The owners of a popular beach café have warned the public to stay away from the damaged structure after it was destroyed by last week’s storms.

Castle Beach Cafe finally succumbed to the elements on Friday after heavy seas smashed the already damaged building to pieces.

Having sustained damage in previous bad weather, with broken shutters and the building being partially lifted from its base, Jayne and Steve Gray say that large rocks thrown up by the sea finally put paid to the outside walls/ Now Jayne is urging people not to go near to the building after people were seen rummaging around in the café which is now open to the elements.

“I walked past yesterday and a chap was lifting his two children, aged about three and five, over the railing and taking them down the ramp.

“Later on there was a group of people inside trying to rifle through the stuff that was left. The roof is being held up by props, and there are still wind and waves, if they knock the props the roof could come down.”

“The damage was done by a big stone or boulder being washed into the cafe. When the waves come up over the main road there’s likely to be stones in those waves and everybody needs to learn a lesson that safety should come first.”

She added that the waves had damaged the sea wall, which had washed into the surf, and had probably been thrown around.

“Whatever’s in the sea is getting thrown into the cafe: it’s stood up to the waves for 60 years, it’s the rocks and boulders that seem to cause the problem.”

Jayne’s husband, Steve, said: “The insurance company had agreed to take the front and the side wall down anyway, and then the sea came along and did half the job for them. It’s smashed stuff up inside too.”

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said the council was aware of the damage to the sea wall, but it was too early to give a timescale for repairs.

They said: “Engineers from CORMAC are currently assessing the damage and will be carrying out works to repair the sea wall.

“We have been consistently advising people to stay away from areas which have been damaged by the storms while repairs are carried out, and would continue to issue those warnings.”

The Falmouth Hotel has kindly allowed the cafe to use its storage space until the building is rebuilt, and the Grays are currently awaiting a full assessment from their insurer.

Steve also said he is looking at the government’s promise of a grant up to £5,000 for businesses which want to strengthen their properties during repairs in order to avoid having to rebuild again in the future.