Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Theft from grave leaves family heartbroken

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 May 2014

Husband and wife, Phil and Chris at their family grave plot in Sidmouth cemetry. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 2966-21-14AW

Husband and wife, Phil and Chris at their family grave plot in Sidmouth cemetry. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 2966-21-14AW

Archant

A THIEF who preyed on Sidmouth cemetery and stole plants from a family grave has left the couple who lovingly tend to the plot heartbroken and disgusted.

Phil Tree – who nurtures and maintains the memorial to her father, mother and brother - has described the culprit who targeted it as ‘the worst of the worst’.

The retired legal cashier and her husband, Chris, 70, visit the well-maintained, flower-laden grave every other day and it has been attended to by the family for 30 years. They could not believe it on Tuesday after finding a deep red geranium and two marigolds had been taken from the centre of the plot.

The person responsible even left a footprint in the soil.

Phil, of Fortfield Chambers, said: “I find it hard to comprehend that anyone would stoop as low as to steal from a grave.

“It was upsetting. They took three plants. You could see the footprint where they have had to step on it.

“I don’t know what to think of them – it’s the worst of the worst. Someone taking flowers out of a garden is bad enough – but I can’t get my head around a grave. It is a very special place for the family. We really look after it.

“I would hate to think this could happen to anyone else. It was heartbreaking.”

Phil reported the incident to the district council.

She has spoken out in the hope that nothing similar happens to any other families.

Police Sergeant Andy Squires described the act as ‘the ultimate disrespect’.

He said such incidents of theft were an arrestable offence that could ultimately lead to a six month prison term or a £1,000 fine.

“If it does get reported to us then we’ll do what we can to track down the offender,” added Sgt Squires.

A spokesman for East Devon District Council, which owns and looks after the cemetery, said: “This type of theft is a particularly despicable act but thankfully something that occurs only infrequently.”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30

A young Sidmouth mum undergoing chemotherapy wanted to raise a bit of money for a charity that has supported her – but she has been ‘overwhelmed’ to see the total soar to more than £2,000.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A Christmas Day meal bringing isolated members of the community together in Sidmouth will be boosted by a festive fundraiser tomorrow (Saturday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:23

A Sidmouth couple whose love blossomed at the bank are celebrating 70 years of marriage today (Friday), a matter of days after the Queen and Prince Philip marked the same anniversary.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A Londoner who has never been the victim of a crime in the capital was left shocked and bloody after an alleged ‘unprovoked’ attack in Sidmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

The five-day planning inquiry to decide the fate of a bid to build a 113-home retirement community at Knowle will begin on Tuesday (November 28).

Read more
Thu, 17:16

The first Crime and Safety Roadshow took place in Sidmouth this week.

Read more
Thu, 13:00

A concert featuring an orchestra made up of 70 members from across the South West will be held in aid of Sidmouth Hospiscare.

Read more
Thu, 12:16

Thousands of pounds have been awarded to a new trailblazing help service.

Read more
Thu, 09:47

A trapped toddler, who got locked in a car, helped firefighter with his own escape.

Read more
Thu, 09:09

An event organiser who has helped to bring some of the country’s biggest authors to Sidmouth is stepping down after more than a decade in charge.

Read more

Local Weather

Snow

Snow

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications