Thieves steal from grave of man who ‘served his country for 20 years’

26 Nov 2015....Thieves have stolen flowers and ornaments from graves in Hemsworth Cemetery. Dawn Stocks is upset after items were taken from her husband's grave.
26 Nov 2015....Thieves have stolen flowers and ornaments from graves in Hemsworth Cemetery. Dawn Stocks is upset after items were taken from her husband's grave.

A grieving widow has been left heartbroken after thieves stole personal mementos from her husband’s grave.

Dawn Stocks went to visit the resting place of her late husband Lewis, who served in the armed forces for 20 years, on Tuesday, November 20.

But the 68-year-old was left “lost of words” when she discovered a section of headstone had been stolen from Hemsworth Cemetery.

Mrs Stocks, of Moortop Drive, Hemsworth, said: “It is disgusting that these selfish people would do that. Lewis served his country and he does not deserve to have stuff taken from his grave.

“We paid a lot of money to have a marble piece made to sit on top of the headstone, which we planned to personalise with birds. The family have been left devastated.”

Mrs Stocks, who visits her husband’s grave three times a week, said a number of other plots had also been targeted in the cemetery.

She said: “I keep meeting people who are in bits that their lanterns, ornaments and flowers have been taken.

“The gates to the cemetery need to be locked over night and there needs to be more security. With the dark nights coming, we do not know what is going to be taken next.”

Wakefield Council, who runs the cemetery, said staff will be increasing patrols.

The council’s service director for environment and streetscene Glynn Humphries said: “Our sympathies are with the family concerned, as a theft from a grave or memorial is a despicable act.

“We believe this was an isolated incident and I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with the police to bring the thieves to justice.

“Staff will be making extra visits to Hemsworth Cemetery to discourage and detect anyone thinking of stealing items.”

To report a theft call the South East neighbourhood police team on 101.