‘Shameful’

A GRIEVING grandma has slammed “shameful” thieves who stole keepsakes from the graves of her son and former husband.

Sandra Gibson, 62, says she is still heartbroken after losing her son George Horsley in 2009, just two years after her former husband, also called George Horsley, died.

Her sorrow has been compounded by callous thieves who sneaked into West View Cemetery, off West View Road, in Hartlepool, and stole two carved wooden boats from their joint grave site.

Both had been keen fisherman and the ornaments were bought to remember the good times they had shared together at sea.

Sandra, from Alliance Street, Hartlepool, told the Hartlepool Mail: “It’s heartbreaking, the boats have no real monetary value, we just put them there for sentimental reasons as they were both Hartlepool fishermen.

“They were only three or four inches long but they reminded us of what they loved to do and the happy times we had.

“Who could stoop so low? It’s shameful.”

Sandra, who is also mum to Jonathan, 36, and grandma to Archie George, two, considered putting a note on the cemetery gates telling those responsible exactly what she thought of them.

She added: “We shouldn’t have to worry about things like this happening.

“I’m a nice person but it fills me with anger.”

George senior died aged 62 from cancer in 2007. Sandra was divorced from George in 1978, but they remained friends.

Their son George had battled a heroin addiction and had paid £3,500 to go through a detox programme in Harrogate that saw him given “blocker” drugs to stop his addiction.

He had been warned to not take any heroin while using the medication, but in 2009 he slipped back into old habits.

He was found on his boat in Hartlepool Marina aged just 36.

Sandra added: “There were only traces of heroin in his system, but it was enough. I don’t think he ever got over his dad dying.

“His dad’s dying wish was for his sons to be buried with him, so they are together and peaceful.

“But people are stealing things from graves, and it’s terrible.”

Sandra has also hit out at dog walkers who allow their pets to foul in the cemetery,

She added: “Everyone has loved ones that they go and visit. The other day we got out of the car and almost stood in some dog mess just three feet away from my son’s grave, it’s disgusting.

“I’ve watched young kids let their dogs off the lead and just stand and wait for them to finish before leaving the cemetery.

“With this going on and the experience I’ve had with the thefts, I think people need to show a bit more respect in there.”