Newton Aycliffe couple voice disgust after ornaments stolen from grave of their baby boys (From The Northern Echo)
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Newton Aycliffe couple voice disgust after ornaments stolen from grave of their baby boys
A COUPLE have spoken of their anguish after a commemorative plaque and precious glass ornaments were stolen from the grave of their two baby boys.
John and Joanne Newman, of Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, were furious when they made the discovery during one of their regular visits to the grave of their sons, Caleb and Isaac, at West Cemetery in School Aycliffe on Sunday, September 1.
The stolen items, many of which had been bought as birthday and Christmas presents for the boys, included cherubs, footprints, rainbows, stars and a plaque, featuring a poem.
All of the items were made of glass and cost upwards of £10 each but Mrs Newman, 29, said the sentimental value was enormous.
“They would not be worth much to anyone else but they mean so much to us,” she said. “When we saw they had been taken, we just felt disgusted that someone could steal from a baby’s grave.
“There was also a sense of helplessness. I know there is nothing we can do and that we will never get them back.”
Caleb and Isaac were both premature babies. Caleb was a late miscarriage in 2005, while Isaac died in hospital aged four weeks in 2010.
For the last eight years, Mr and Mrs Newman and their three daughters, Imogen, Ebony and Harmony, have attended the grave on almost a daily basis to light a candle and bring flowers and gifts for the boys.
But, at the time of the thefts, work and child care commitments meant the family was not able to visit as often.
“We hadn’t been for a few days as I had been working night shifts,” said Mrs Newman, a care worker. “It was a horrible shock,”
Mr Newman added: “It happened after the funerals too – keepsakes our friends and family left disappeared. It is just wrong.”
The couple contacted the police who asked antique dealers and pawn shops in the area to look out for the items.
An appeal for information was also posted on Newton Aycliffe Neighbourhood Police Team’s Facebook page and within a couple of hours more than 40 people had left comments to voice their disgust.
Anyone with information about the theft, which occurred between Monday, August 26, and Sunday, September 1, is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestopper anonymously on 0800-555-111, quoting incident number DHM-02092013-03