Fuming widower speaks out after special graveside tribute to his late wife is pinched by thieves in Stevenage

The flowers were stolen from the grave in Weston Road Cemetery.

The flowers were stolen from the grave in Weston Road Cemetery.

A widower was horrified when he went to visit his wife’s grave on Sunday – and found that thieves had stolen two decorative rose bushes he’d specially ordered to adorn it.

Terry Perkins and his late wife Jean.

Terry Perkins and his late wife Jean. - Credit: Archant

Terry Perkins discovered that the 4½ft imitation yellow silk rose bushes were missing when he visited the grave in Weston Road Cemetery in Stevenage.

The 61-year-old said: “How can someone do something like this, it’s disgusting. My wife loved flowers so I bought the bushes to decorate her grave. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the two empty plant pots on Saturday morning.

“For someone to come along and steal anything from a grave is pretty low. The people who did it need to be caught and brought to justice.”

Terry met his late wife Jean through a friend in Stevenage, where the couple grew up.

The grave of Jean Perkins, where flowers were stolen.

The grave of Jean Perkins, where flowers were stolen. - Credit: Archant


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They were happily married for 37 years before she tragically died three years ago, aged 57, 10 weeks after suffering a stroke.

At the time they were living in the Limousin region of France and Terry returned to England after her death.

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He now lives in Bedford and works for engineering firm Lockheed Martin but continues to visit her grave every week.

As Jean always loved flowers Terry decided to decorate her grave with a variety of shrubs and plants as a tribute to her.

He specially ordered the synthetic rose bushes six months ago because he knew she would have loved them.

The headstone was undamaged and no other plots were touched so Terry believes the crime was not an act of vandalism.

He said: “When I saw they were missing I went and checked all the bins and skips in the cemetery to see if they’d been dumped but I couldn’t find anything.

“These people clearly went there to steal the bushes. They’re quite unusual and big and it’s not the sort of thing you can buy in an ordinary shop.

“They weren’t cheap but it’s not the money I’m bothered about, it’s the callousness of the crime.

“You’ve got to be some kind of low-life to even consider doing something like this. I’m pleading to anyone who knows anything or saw something to get in touch because this sort of thing isn’t acceptable.

“People’s graves should be left alone. They are places where people go to grieve their deceased loved ones. To discover that someone has come along and stolen something from them is horrifying.”

Anyone with information about the crime should call Herts police on 101.

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