‘Heartbreak’ over Fishbourne grave thefts

C130936-1 Chi Grave Thefts  phot kate''Joanne Kerr and her daughter Chloe, eight, tending the grave of her father from which thieves took an urn.'C130936-1
C130936-1 Chi Grave Thefts phot kate''Joanne Kerr and her daughter Chloe, eight, tending the grave of her father from which thieves took an urn.'C130936-1

CALLOUS thieves who stole from a grave have left a mother and daughter ‘devastated’.

Joanne Kerr got in touch with the Observer after seeing a crime report about thefts from Fishbourne churchyard last week.

Two vases were removed from her mother’s grave in June, something Joanne discovered when she went to prepare the site for her father’s burial.

“I find it quite hard to go up to the grave but I got a call asking me to take some stuff away before dad’s funeral,” said Joanne.

“It was only when I got there that I realised they had gone.”

She visited the grave on Monday, June 24, and estimated it was around three weeks since anyone had been to the churchyard because of her father’s illness.

“It was awful, losing my mum then getting prepared to bury my dad, to find those missing,” she said.

“Even after the funeral, I only left two flowers and brought the rest home to a memory garden here because I was worried about them being taken.

“It is just horrible because they are my parents and they are not around anymore, and that is the only place I can go to be with them.

“I have got a little girl of eight and she idolised her grandad and she was just devastated.”

Joanne said she had heard about other people having flowers stolen.

“Even flowers being taken is quite heartbreaking. It is not the money, it is the principle.”

One of the vases was particularly special to Joanne, inscribed with the message ‘To a loving mother, love Jo’.

The inscription was organised by Joanne’s father.

“The other one I could probably go out and buy another one,” she said.

“But I was 20 when I lost my mum and in 14 years it hadn’t been touched until then.”

The pair of urn-shaped vases are black with silver tops. One has an engraved plaque.

Anyone who has any information can call 101 quoting 47130027624.