A GRIEVING mum has described sick thieves as “low life” after a treasured memento left in tribute to her son was stolen.
Jan Bushnall hit out after a football went missing from a pile of flowers and tributes left close to the accident scene where her son Rhys Hewitt was hit by a car earlier this month.
Within hours of the 14-year old’s death, friends and family flocked to the scene and left touching tributes around a tree near to where the accident happened.
But Jan was left sickened after a football left by her daughter Sophie’s boyfriend, Jay, disappeared on the morning of his funeral.
Jan, from Seaton Carew, said; “I think this is just sick, and the only way I can describe the people who have taken the ball is low life.
“Jay had bought a ball at Hartlepool United, and wrote a personal message on it. Rhys was like his little brother.
“He also left a bottle of a Coke with a ‘share with mates’ logo on it, and that disappeared too.
“It was last Friday morning when we noticed it had gone missing, the day of Rhys’s funeral.
“We had been to the funeral home to say goodbye to Rhys, and then we had to deal with that.
“There are so many tributes there, flowers and other footballs and shirts, all sorts of lovely things which we are so grateful for.
“But this ball that has gone was from family, it means so much to us and we have been left disgusted that it has been taken.”
Around 800 people packed St Patrick’s Church, in Owton Manor Lane, for Rhys’s funeral on Friday last week for a touching ceremony.
It also comes as a fund which was launched to raise money for a lasting memorial to Rhys has raised more than £3,700 in just a couple of days of its launch.
Jan, who has informed police about the suspected theft, added: “It hasn’t just blown away or rolled down the road.
“I would guess it has been taken while it’s been dark.
“Well I would hope that maybe someone can go and put it back when it’s dark when they realise how much it means to us.”