Sutton family’s heartbreak after theft from baby’s grave

The family of a tiny baby that tragically died at just a few hours old say they have been devastated by heartless thieves who stole a special solar light from the baby’s grave.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st May 2014, 10:23 am
The cemetery at St. Mary's Church, Sutton.
The cemetery at St. Mary's Church, Sutton.

The angel solar light went missing from the grave of Poppy Hayes, who is buried in the cemetery at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sutton.

Poppy was born prematurely in January this year at just 26 weeks gestation and died when she was three hours old following a traumatic birth.

Her parents Laura Straw (19) and Thomas Hayes (21) visit her grave every day and were horrified to find that the solar light had been taken when they went up on Sunday.

Laura, of Chatsworth Street, Sutton, said: “We only buried her 15 weeks ago so it’s still quite raw.

“This has really upset me.

“We try and make it look as nice as we can because she’s not here and every time we go up now we are looking to see what’s gone.”

The family have heard anecdotally of several people having things taken from the graves of children buried at St Mary’s, but say they have never had any other trouble themselves.

Poppy’s grandmother Amanda Hayes, of Leamington Drive, said: “The fact somebody could do something like that to a baby’s grave is disgusting.”

Amanda said that the grave is all the family have left of Poppy and they make sure it is decorated with windmills, flowers, candles and items such as the solar light.

“This is the first time that anything like this has happened,” said Amanda (40).

“It’s not an expensive thing but it’s a shame because now they are frightened that something else is going to go missing.

“They are still going through the trauma of losing her and now this has happened.”

The family are urging the culprits to put themselves in their position and see what upset such actions can cause.

An Ashfield District Council spokesman said: “The defamation of graves is unacceptable and the council will do all it can to ensure cemeteries are treated with respect.

“Cemetery keepers are based in each council-run cemetery and make every effort to prevent damage or theft from graves. Families are contacted, where possible, if any damage is spotted.

“The council does not encourage the placement of ornaments on grave sites due to these types of risks, and this is made clear in the rules and regulations.

“The council does of course sympathise with the family and understands the distress that such an act would cause.

“The Community Protection team have been notified of the incident and will use the information to inform their patrols.”