Burglary signals new blow for family of man killed in crash at Sprowston

PUBLISHED: 06:21 26 April 2014

Sam O'Leary. Pic Submitted.

Sam O'Leary. Pic Submitted.


The devastated mother of a much-loved Sprowston man who was killed in a crash has been dealt another blow after her father was burgled just days after his grandson’s death.

Tributes to Sam O'Leary left at the scene where he died in a car crash on Wroxham Road, Sprowston Tributes to Sam O'Leary left at the scene where he died in a car crash on Wroxham Road, Sprowston

Emotional tributes have been paid to Sam O’Leary, 21, from Clover Road, who died after the car he was driving crashed into a garden wall on Wroxham Road at about 11.15pm on March 28.

It has since emerged that just days after the tragedy Mr O’Leary’s grandfather, 74-year-old John O’Leary, was the victim of one of three burglaries in the Thorpe St Andrew area which are believed to be linked.

Donna Holmes, 41, said during the burglary at her father’s Le Tunder Close home raiders stole £700 from her father’s wallet which had been taken out to help pay for the cost of her son’s funeral.

Mrs Holmes, who lives with her husband, Simon, 37, Sam’s brothers Vic, 18, Ryan, six, sister Kelly, 11, and dog Benny, said her father, who uses a mobility scooter and wears a breathing mask at night, also suffered a second scare.

Last Thursday, the day of his grandson’s funeral, he returned home to find someone at his home although nothing was taken and he was able to chase them away.

Both incidents, which have been reported to police, have been a cause of great concern to both Mr O’Leary and the rest of his family at an already distressful time.

Mrs Holmes said: “It’s really scared him – he doesn’t want to go out or anything. We’re now trying to get security lights up to try and deter them because he thinks they’re going to come back.”

Mrs Holmes has bravely spoken out at a hugely difficult time for the whole family in a bid to try to shame the culprits. or anyone who might know them. into coming forward with information.

She said: “I wouldn’t like to say in words how I feel about them. There’s just so many sick people about out there. I can’t really put into words how I feel. It’s heart wrenching – especially with what’s gone on.

“I’m just so angry at the moment. Sam was such a good kid and there’s so many out there making people’s lives a misery.”

A police spokesman confirmed officers are investigating the burglary which happened between 1.30am and 4pm on Monday, April 7 and have given him advice following the second incident last Thursday.

The burglary is believed to be linked to two others in the area at Gordon Avenue, between 6pm on April 6 and 12.30pm on April 7 and on Hillcrest Road between 11.30pm on April 6 and 9.30am on April 7.

Information to police on 101.

Have you got a crime story? Email crime correspondent Peter Walsh at

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