A mother's grief

A GRIEVING mother has been left devastated after disrespectful vandals destroyed her daughter s grave. Michelle Newman, 38, of Monklands in Letchworth GC, visited Ellie s grave at Letchworth Cemetery in Icknield Way on what would have been her seventh b

A GRIEVING mother has been left devastated after "disrespectful" vandals destroyed her daughter's grave.

Michelle Newman, 38, of Monklands in Letchworth GC, visited Ellie's grave at Letchworth Cemetery in Icknield Way on what would have been her seventh birthday.

But when she reached the grave she was shocked to find that everything they had put on the grave including flowers, two angels, a plaque and a cuddly toy had gone.

The mother of three who lost Ellie when she was stillborn at 38 weeks said: "It's bad enough for someone having to deal with losing a child but for this to happen makes it even worse. It was a very emotional thing to happen and it still hurts every time I go up there.


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"I know I'm lucky to have three other children but it doesn't make it any easier.

"When I saw that everything had gone I was devastated. We had trouble a few years ago when a lamp was smashed but to find everything gone is awful. I couldn't go into work the day it happened because every time I thought of it I burst into tears.

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"I even scoured the cemetery to look for the missing items but I couldn't find them anywhere.

"I bring my children up to know what's right and wrong and youngsters shouldn't be playing up there.

"My children know not to touch anything at the cemetery because it's disrespectful. I can't understand people's mentality to think that it's right to do such a thing.

"I hope whoever did it is proud of themselves and can sleep at night.

Councillor Lynda Needham, portfolio holder for environment at North Herts District Council which owns the cemetery, said: "It is very sad that a grieving mother should have to suffer in this way. Unfortunately this is not the first time that graves have been interfered with, but it is not a regular occurrence and we are sure this is only occasional vandalism by uncaring individuals, which we deplore. We do what we can with regular checks on the cemetery and we have used CCTV but it has to be understood that the council cannot provide 24-hour coverage. Any passer-by who sees anyone acting suspiciously should please alert the police."

Pc Quentin Lane, who is investigating the incident, said: "Those who have caused damage to the grave and removed ornaments that had been left there by the child's family are cruel and disrespectful. These acts of vandalism and theft have caused further unnecessary distress to the child's family.

"We are appealing to the local community to contact us on the non-emergency number 0845 3300222 if they have any information about this incident.

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