A DISTRAUGHT mother has spoken of her heartbreak after ornaments were stolen from the grave of her stillborn son.
Two small plant pots with animal faces on them were among items taken from the plot and the plants were dumped on the grave.
"I'm shocked that anyone could stoop so low as to do this," said Celine Reddihough, whose son, Cian, was buried at Morton Cemetery two years ago.
"The items were not of any monetary value – they were probably only worth a couple of quid each – and they couldn't be sold, so I wonder if it's kids who were responsible.
"It would be clear to anyone seeing the grave that there had already been a lot of distress caused by the death, so to do this and add to that pain is beyond belief."
Mrs Reddihough – who has two other sons, Rory, 13, and Derry, 11 – discovered the items had been taken during one of her regular visits to the cemetery, in Bradford Road.
She contacted the police and Bradford Council.
"They were very sympathetic but could do nothing to reassure me it wouldn't happen again," said Mrs Reddihough, 42, who works for her husband Michael's property maintenance business in Keighley.
"I appreciate it's difficult to stop this sort of thing happening – they can't lock the cemetery – but it leaves you feeling that you are unable to place anything on the graves."
Keighley town councillor Andrea Walker, whose young daughter Ellie is buried at the same cemetery, said she has empathy with the heartbroken mum.
Ellie died, aged just three, in January last year and her grave was also targeted by yobs.
"They stole a photo of Ellie from a memorial cross and it was just days before the inquest – it was deeply distressing," said Cllr Walker.
"It isn't easy to know what can be done. You can't deny people access to the site, and even if you did lock gates people could just jump over the wall."
Bradford Council's bereavement and amenities manager John Scholefield said such incidents were extremely distressing to relatives and shouldn't happen.
"We are doing as much as possible to protect our cemeteries although these sites cannot be completely secured as people need to be able to visit graves," he added.
"We would urge anyone with information about thefts or vandalism in any of our cemeteries to contact the police."