A HEARTBROKEN widow has blasted ghoulish thieves who stole flowers from her husband’s grave – on his birthday.
Jackie Craney was reduced to tears when she discovered the cruel theft at Jarrow Cemetery.
The flowers, including red roses and carnations, had only been placed on the grave by a family member a few hours before Mrs Craney arrived to lay her own floral tribute to her late husband, James, who died of cancer two years ago.
Mrs Craney, 67, of Civic Court, Hebburn, said: “How could anyone be so heartless as to steal flowers from someone’s grave? What’s in their minds to rob someone’s grave? It’s just horrible and nasty.
“It would have been my husband’s 76th birthday on the day the flowers were taken.
“It cannot be kids, as they would have been at school during the day when the flowers were stolen.
“My son, Mark, had only left the flowers in the afternoon and I was devastated when I realised they had been stolen.”
Mr and Mrs Craney were a devoted couple, who were married for almost 50 years, and lived for most of that time in Jarrow.
Mrs Craney’s other son, Paul, and daughters, Jacqueline and Joanne, are equally upset about their father’s grave being targeted by thieves.
Jacqueline, of Ecgfrid Terrace, Jarrow, who was with her mother when they discovered the theft, said: “Mam was really upset when she realised the flowers were gone. People should have more respect, and we would like to see some better security in Jarrow Cemetery to stop this kind of thing happening.”
Coun Ken Stephenson, for the Primrose ward, which includes Jarrow Cemetery, said: “We have had cases of items being stolen from graves in the past.
“Sometimes, animals and birds have actually taken flowers and plants, but I will take this incident up and pass on the information to the council’s bereavement services to make them aware of what’s happened.”
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We understand and appreciate the anger and heartache being felt by the Craney family. We have spoken to the community wardens, making them aware of the situation and they will be stepping up their patrols of Jarrow Cemetery.”