Vile thieves steal flowers from grave

Crime story
Crime story

A WIDOW has voiced her distress and disbelief after thieves stole flowers from her late husband’s grave.

Catherine Berry of Swinley made the shock discovery on Father’s Day, having only left the fresh lilies at spouse Tommy’s final resting place in Wigan’s Gidlow Cemetery two days earlier.

Tommy Berry - grave

Tommy Berry - grave

Today, as police and the leisure trust which looks after the cemetery issued an appeal for information that would track down the thieves, the 59-year-old said she wanted other bereaved folk to be on their guard and so prevent further thefts from other graves.

She said: “I just think it is disrespectful. I don’t understand why anybody would want to or have the heart to take flowers from somebody’s grave. It’s sacred.

“Maybe people can’t afford much but you think they would still have a conscience.

“I will definitely be more cautious now. The flowers I took were expensive and really lovely. It’s sad to say but I will think twice now before putting down such special flowers.”

Family man Tommy, 58, sustained fatal injuries when his pedal cycle was in collision with a black Fiat Punto on Meadow Lane, Croston in 2012.

Many tributes were paid to the big Latics fan who was a popular figure on the local amateur football scene.

Catherine, 59, visited the grave last Friday to place the new-bought lilies in a plant pot.

She then returned on Father’s Day to visit both Tommy and his dad’s graves.

But upon her arrival she noticed that the flowers had vanished.

She added: “I couldn’t believe my eyes at first - I was stunned.

“I reported it immediately, people can’t keep getting away with this.”

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), which manages the borough’s cemeteries, says that it is an unfortunate fact that there are sometimes spates of crimes like these.

The Trust vowed to keep an eye on the situation and has urged any residents who have memorabilia or flowers taken from friends and relatives graves to contact the police.

A WLCT spokesman added: “We take security at all our cemeteries extremely seriously.

“While we do of course have to allow people access on to sites, gates are locked at night and reopened in the morning. We also have a regular staff presence at our cemeteries.

“If any spates of thefts occur, we work closely with Greater Manchester Police to take action, so it is important that any thefts are reported to GMP on 101 and to ourselves on 01942 828993.”