Vandals target grave of cot death baby at Gorleston Crematorium
- Credit: James Bass
Grave vandals have attacked tributes to a nine-month-old boy who died of cot death, as a second cemetery was hit in a month.
Linda Pollard, of Byron Road, Great Yarmouth, lost her beloved son Ricky to cot death in 1984.
And when the 57-year-old's father saw youngsters tearing flowers off Ricky's grave - and later discovered ornaments had been stolen - she was bereft.
The latest attack was at Gorleston Crematorium, and comes weeks after thieves took ornaments from the grave of father-of-three Tony Webb at St Nicholas Minster memorial garden.
Mr Webb, of Great Yarmouth, was just 25-years-old when he was fatally injured in a motorbike crash on the Acle Straight last year.
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Ms Pollard said the mindless incident on August 1 had upset the whole family.
'My father was up there on Thursday and he saw these children running round and playing near the grave,' she explained. 'They were taking the flowers off.
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'There was a chap with them as well.
'My father said 'what you're doing is naughty - that's my grandson's grave and you're taking his things off.'
'They just ran off.
'All his ornaments have gone as well and they've been on there nearly 30 years.'
She tended to Ricky's grave this week with her daughter Karen, 34 of Hemsby, and they found flower pots strewn across the ground.
'We had a chat with one of the chaps who works there and he said birds sometimes pull the flowers out,' she said. 'They might take the flowers out but they couldn't pick things up like pots and move them.
'The grave next to Ricky's used to have one pot but now there are three so people are moving them around.
'It's upsetting. I know it's been a number of years.
'It upset my daughter as well, because my ex-husband who is now deceased put a lantern on that he lit at Christmas.
'That can't be replaced as he's no longer here.'
She said together with son Carl, 36, of Great Yarmouth, they have put items back on the grave.
But they are speaking out to warn others to be vigilant, and to let the culprits know of the heartbreak they have caused.
Norfolk police are urging people to report any suspicious behaviour that they witness at cemeteries to them.
Responding after the incident at St Nicholas Minster memorial garden, a spokesman said: 'Many people leave items at gravesides, often as tokens of love and remembrance to those sadly missed.
'This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and something we take very seriously.'