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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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‘Disgusting’ theft from Cumbrian graveyard

A widower has hit out at thieves who stole from his beloved wife’s grave.

Robert Dawson photo
Robert Dawson with his dog Zarra at his wife's grave

Robert Dawson, 68, had gone to where his wife Elsie’s ashes are buried at Carlisle Cemetery on Valentine’s Day to place flowers.

However, once there he found that the brass ring of the flower holder set into the top of the gravestone was missing.

“It is absolutely disgusting stealing off graves,” he told the News & Star.

Mr Dawson’s wife died at the age of 42 in 1992. Her ashes are next to those of Mr Dawson’s mother, Jane.

Mr Dawson, who lives in Morton West, said he had seen that brass rings had been removed from similar gravestones around the graveyard.

He added that the cemetery is being targeted by metal thieves. “I found one ring on the ground and it was plastic,” he said.

Mr Dawson is a retired factory worker and has three children and nine grandchildren.

He has been saddened by the theft and wants to encourage anyone else with family buried in the graveyard to be aware of the issue.

A spokeswoman for Carlisle City Council, which owns the graveyard, said thefts from graves were uncommon.

“Visiting a cemetery plot is a way of coping with loss and any theft from a graveside can very distressing,” she said.

“We advise anyone who experiences any sort of vandalism or theft within the grounds of the cemetery to contact us and we will provide as much support as we can.”

She added that people leave items in cemeteries at their own risk.

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