Family heartbreak as flowers stolen from mum's Scholemoor Cemetery grave (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Family heartbreak as flowers stolen from mum's Scholemoor Cemetery grave
Thieves who stole floral tributes from a grave in Scholemoor Cemetery, Bradford, left a family heartbroken on Mother's Day.
Widower Brian Fairclough, of Hazelcroft, Eccleshill, said it was his son who discovered the missing stone planters and blooms when he went to visit his mother's graveside on Sunday.
Mr Fairclough, 77, who lost his wife Kathleen to cancer in 2009, said this was the third time in three years that the grave had been targetted by thieves.
“The first time they took a planter we just got on with it and replaced it, then two months ago a few planters went missing so we put more in and this time dug them in a few inches.
“They are heavyweights – an oblong one and three round ones – but it hasn't stopped them from going. I think they've been lifted and put straight into a car, because it's near the roadside.”
The planters contained his wife's favourite primulas and hyancinths that were just about to colour – primulas that had been growing in the ground around the grave had also been dug up.
Mr Fairclough said: “My son said there was soil left everywhere – but no planters. This adds to our loss of Kathleen, she loved her flowers – it's heartbreaking her grave has been desecrated by this.
“It's disgusting that people do this. No doubt some mother would have thought they'd been given a lovely gift if they've received them but they'd be ashamed and horrified if they knew where they'd come from.”
Mr Fairclough said he would now be reporting the theft to cemetery officials and police and insisted security should be better.
John Scholefield, Bradford Council's bereavement and amenities manager, said: “Incidents like this are very distressing to relatives and should not happen, but we are doing as much as possible to protect our cemeteries, including locking more gates although these sites can not be completely secured as people need to visit graves.
“We would urge anyone with any information on what happened to contact local police.”
Last month the Telegraph & Argus reported how there was growing anger over “inexcusable” fly-tipping and general waste being dumped at the Bradford cemetery which led to a group being set up to try to combat the problem. The Friends of Scholemoor Cemetery organisation has already had one meeting and will get together again in the coming weeks.
Ghulam Rasul, of the Friends group, said: “It's very distressing for people to come to the cemetery and find things have been stolen. If we are made aware of problems we will discuss them when we next meet.”