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Former soldier appeals for stolen laptop to be returned
An Army veteran and his young family have appealed for the return of a stolen laptop that contained irreplaceable photographs of his fallen comrades.
Johnathan Simister, 29, and his wife Amy, 30, had only welcomed their newborn son Jacob into the world two weeks before their Baildon home was broken into.
Among the items stolen from the Milner Road address were Mr Simister’s laptop, containing photos of his tours of duty – including stints in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Iraq.
It was during a tour in Iraq in 2007 with the Second Battalion The Rifles that one of his best friends, Paul Donnachie was killed at the age of 18.
Rifleman Donnachie, or ‘Donny’ as he was known to his mates, was shot dead after dismounting from his vehicle in the Al Ashar district.
Mr Simister left the Army in August and is now a residential care worker. The couple met during John’s coming home ceremony in Northern Ireland, and were married last year. Their first child Jacob was born three weeks ago.
Amy, a quantity surveyor, said whoever broke into their house probably did not realise how important the laptop was to the family.
She said: “John has done a few tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and they have lost a few people out there, including his best friend. Any information we could get to get this laptop back would be a big help.”
Amy said the house was still decorated with new baby cards, and the fact that the burglars did not steal any baby gifts hinted that they may have some conscience.
She added: “We just left the house to get a bit of exercise. Whoever broke in must have seen the cards.”
Other items taken in the burglary include the family’s TV, iPads, a watch bought for John on his 21st birthday and jewellery.
Mrs Simister said: “The most important thing is the laptop because it has a lot of photos he can’t replace.
“The police have been very supportive, but they haven’t been able to recover the items yet. Somebody must know something – if they could return it it would mean so much to us.”
The computer is a black Alienware M17X laptop.
The couple have asked anyone with information about the laptop to contact police on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.