Family distraught after grave theft

Susan Gaskell with husband Jim at the grave of Susan's mother
Susan Gaskell with husband Jim at the grave of Susan's mother

A DEVASTATED family have spoken of their heartbreak after vandals stole Mother’s Day gifts from their mum’s grave.

Jim Gaskell, of Worsley Mesnes, has told the Wigan Evening Post how his mother-in-law’s final resting place was trashed by intruders who targeted her grave at St Paul’s cemetery in Goose Green.

The vile louts ripped £50 worth of flowers from their bed and took a special ‘Me 2 You’ teddy bear which were only placed there on Sunday. Ethel Caine died aged 88 last October in Wigan Infirmary.

Mr Gaskell, 66, says his family have been left distraught by the sickening destruction and appealed for anyone with information about the culprits to contact police.

“Somebody must know who has done this,” he said. “This has never happened before and thieves have specifically targeted this particular grave. There are hundreds of other graves in that cemetery.

“We are all just so upset and are desperate to know why.”

The family found the destruction the day after Mothering Sunday. Mr Gaskell said: “It’s so upsetting.

“We have such a big family and we’re all really close. Our worlds fell apart last year when she passed away.

“She was being treated in Wigan Infirmary after she fell and she died suddenly six days later.

“We would all take it in turns to go and visit her but she unfortunately passed away on her own during the night.

“It left us devastated. And now this happens, we are just in turmoil. It feels like our grief is never-ending.”

The family searched around the cemetery to find any clues about the vandals but to no avail. However, a packet of slimming pills was discovered near the scene.

Mr Gaskell added: “If any children had found those and picked them up and took them unknowingly they could have died.

“I am intending on telling the reverend to be aware of it.

“And I just hope these people are caught, they can’t be allowed to get away with this.”

The incident happened around the same time the graves of domestic abuse victim Carly Fairhurst and six-week old baby Riley McMichael were also targeted at Hindley Cemetery.