Family devastated after lights are stolen from great-grandmother’s grave in Harton Cemetery

A South Tyneside family has been left devastated after lights were stolen from a great-grandmother’s grave in Harton Cemetery.

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A family from Marsden have been left devastated after lights were stolen from a grave in Harton Cemetery, which belongs to great-grandmother, Marilyn Race.

Jade Green went to visit her mam’s grave last week to place a wooden cross that her son had made on it to discover that 11 out of 12 lights on stakes in the ground had been stolen.

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The 41-year-old told the Shields Gazette how she felt after she discovered that the lights were missing and revealed that it is a common thing in the cemetery.

She said: “Around a week ago, we went to put a wooden cross on my mam’s grave that my husband and son had made for it.

A before and after of Marilyn’s grave, in Harton Cemetery.A before and after of Marilyn’s grave, in Harton Cemetery.
A before and after of Marilyn’s grave, in Harton Cemetery.

“When I got there, I found that all but one of the lights had been stolen, with the stakes still in the ground, so whoever has taken them has just ripped the lights off.

“As soon as I saw it, I just started crying and my stomach sank; my mam has only been gone a year after we lost her suddenly.

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“A man in the cemetery mentioned to me that things like this have been happening for a while, with flowers being stolen, ornaments smashed and graves being vandalised.

“I don’t get why anyone would want to steal lights from a grave.”

Jade Green with her mam, Marilyn Race.Jade Green with her mam, Marilyn Race.
Jade Green with her mam, Marilyn Race.

Jade also revealed that the lights were put there to help Marilyn’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren deal with her loss after she died suddenly on April 30, 2022, aged just 68.

She added: “When we buried mam, a lot of the kids in our family were obviously really upset but some of them have additional needs and were getting really worked up about her being in the dark underground.

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“That is why we put the lights on her grave as a way of showing them that she isn’t in the dark but now this have made things worse.

“We have bought more lights but I feel like I don’t want to put them on the grave in case they are taken again.”

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Northumbria Police has confirmed that it is investigating the incident and has asked anyone with information to come forward and speak to them.

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A spokesperson for the Force commented: “Shortly before 10pm on Thursday (August 31), we received a report of theft at Harton Cemetery, in South Shields.

“It was reported that a number of lights had been stolen from a grave.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should use the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or call 101, quoting NP-20230831-1196.”

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