The heartbroken parents of a woman buried at Boythorpe Cemetery say they’ll ‘never understand the world’ after her grave was targeted by cruel thieves.
Pamela and John Wain say an angel statue, ornaments and lanterns have been stolen from the resting place of their daughter, Maria, who died in 2014.
The family first noticed that items were missing when they visited the grave on Christmas Day last year, the fourth anniversary of Maria’s death.
“Maria was just 45 when she died,” said Pamela. “She loved cats and we noticed some cat ornaments we’d placed at the grave, along with some lanterns andother sentimental items, had gone.
“We just stood there not knowing what to say. Later on, we put an angel statue at the grave and it was quite a heavy thing which we had to secure.
“We returned last Friday and there was this big hole where the statue had been yanked out.
“Someone must have had to stand on the grave and really pull at it. Why would someone do that? Why rob from the dead? I don’t understand this world.”
Pamela added that she has spoken to other families who claim to have been hit by similar thefts from graves they tend to at the cemetery.
“These items are beautiful and bring us comfort,” she said.
“It’s so upsetting to have them taken away- you have to re-live the loss all over again.”
Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Staff at Boythorpe Cemetery have been in touch with the family about this matter and appreciate that this is a distressing situation. Council officers will also be in liaison with the local constabulary regarding the alleged theft.
“I can confirm that cemetery staff have not removed any of the sentimental items from the gravestone in this case.
“Regulations and legislation do permit the removal of unauthorised items, however, we are always sensitive, particularly in children’s sections, and do not tend to remove items unless they are damaged or pose a health and safety risk.
“Many families do leave sentimental items on gravestones for their loved ones, but cemetery staff often remind visitors that they do so at their own risk.”