‘When I wore it, it made me feel there was part of him there as well’ – Mother’s pain as priceless locket containing murdered son’s hair is stolen in burglary

The photo on the order of service at the memorial service of Sebastian John, who was one of six Britons killed during a siege at the In Amenas gas plant in January. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 27 2013. See PA story MEMORIAL Algeria.  Photo credit should read: PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder. The photo on the order of service at the memorial service of Sebastian John, who was one of six Britons killed during a siege at the In Amenas gas plant in January. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 27 2013. See PA story MEMORIAL Algeria. Photo credit should read: PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
6:29 PM

A mother has been left distraught by the theft of an irreplaceable memento of her son who was murdered by terrorists in Algeria.

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The widow and mother of Sebastian John, Nicola John (right) and Hazel Pugh, arrive at Norwich Cathedral for his memorial service in Norwich Norfolk. Sebastian John was one of six Britons killed during a siege at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in January. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 27 2013. See PA story MEMORIAL Algeria.  Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA WireThe widow and mother of Sebastian John, Nicola John (right) and Hazel Pugh, arrive at Norwich Cathedral for his memorial service in Norwich Norfolk. Sebastian John was one of six Britons killed during a siege at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in January. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 27 2013. See PA story MEMORIAL Algeria. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

A mother has been left distraught by the theft of an irreplaceable memento of her son who was murdered by terrorists in Algeria.

Sebastian John, a former Norwich School pupil, was killed during a siege at the In Amenas gas plant last January, leaving a wife and young son.

They were on a short break with other members of Mr John’s family last week, including his mother, Hazel Pugh, who returned on Monday to find her Thunder Lane home had been burgled.

As well as jewellery and electrical items, they stole a golden locket belonging to Mrs Pugh which contained a lock of her late son’s hair.

She said: “I had been away all week with my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandson, and when I got back I discovered I had been burgled.

“They took the locket, which had a lock of his hair which I managed to get when we got him back from Algeria.

“It’s something that, when I wore it, made me feel there was part of him there as well.

“I would do anything to get it back.”

The family had gone away to Centre Parcs to spend time together at the one-year anniversary of Mr John’s death.

The gold locket is described as 1.5 inches across, with an engraved design and a polythene bag containing a lock of hair.

The burglars are believed to have forced a kitchen window to get into the house. Mobile phones, televisions and other jewellery were also taken.

Mrs Pugh’s sister, Maria Rogers, said the family were appealing for anyone who saw the locket or is offered it for sale to contact police immediately. She added: “Hopefully it can be returned. We are just hoping, hoping, hoping.”

Mr John, a civil and structural engineer, was one of 37 foreign workers who died at the part BP-owned plant in January last year, during a siege in which 29 hostage-takers were also killed.

A spokesman for Norfolk police confirmed the burglary had been reported, and said it had taken place at some point between Monday, January 13, and 11.30am on Monday.

She urged anyone with information to contact Norwich CID on 101.

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