Family devastated after grave theft

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A FAMILY has been left “devastated” by the theft of fairy ornaments from their relative’s grave.

Sherylee Golds and her family made the sickening discovery when visiting her sister Charlene’s grave at Durrington Cemetery on January 27.

It was a difficult day for them, anyway, as it would have been Charlene’s 32nd birthday, but Sherylee said it was made much worse on realising what had happened.

“It was just horrible. I felt like I couldn’t believe it,” Sherylee, 25, said.

“I felt totally angry. I just want this person to get their comeuppance.

“It’s one thing to steal from people, but to steal from graves is disgusting.

“I want them to feel as bad as we do. It was a really hard day, anyway, and this left us heartbroken.”

The Golds family – mum Joanne, dad Kevin, and sisters Cyretta and Carrieann – were with Sherylee and her four-year-old son Haydn Lillywhite to lay flowers at Charlene’s grave.

Charlene died 13 years ago, aged 18, and the family regularly visit her grave to place ornaments there.

But Sherylee, of Cheviot Road, Durrington, said what has happened has made them wary about doing that any more.

“We’re not putting anything else up there now, because we can’t risk it,” she said.

“We don’t want people to think the grave isn’t cared for, and that we don’t visit it, but we don’t even want to put flowers there now.

“We’re going to make a memory box instead, but we shouldn’t be made to feel like this.”

The family said they have heard of other families having fairy ornaments stolen from the cemetery, too.

They have contacted the police, but due to a lack of evidence they said they could not do anything.

Worthing Borough Council spokeswoman, Wendy Knight, said: “We are always sad to learn that someone has, once again, taken artefacts from a dear person’s grave.

“The council regularly maintains these areas and ensures that the maintenance staff working across the 42-acre site also check the graves.

“The opening hours were reduced in 2009 in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour, and Worthing police have, once again, stepped up, their visits.

“As we have said before, it is difficult, though, to know what else we can do.”