Sick thieves target grave of stillborn child

Carl Gorse and Ann-Marie Scotney at the grave of their son Aston Scotney-Gorse

Carl Gorse and Ann-Marie Scotney at the grave of their son Aston Scotney-Gorse

A COUPLE have spoken of their disgust after sick thieves targeted the grave of their stillborn son.

Ann-Marie Scotney and Carl Gorse were told two days before Aston Scotney-Gorse’s birth in July 2012 that he had tragically died in the womb.

As they continue to try and come to terms with their grief, the couple have been forced to deal with a succession of thefts from Aston’s grave in recent months.

But they have been left reeling by the latest incident, which saw thieves make off 
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with a granite plaque which marked Aston’s grave and was inscribed with his details and a touching message.

As police launched an investigation into the theft, from Stranton Cemetery, his mum Ann-Marie said: “It’s sick.”

Over the last year, toys have been stolen, and the granite name plaque which has since gone missing has previously been put in the cemetery bins.

Today, Ann-Marie, 27, and Carl, 34, told the Mail that they felt sick at the thought of people carrying out such an act, and said it had made the grieving process a whole lot harder.

Ann-Marie said: “I go down to the cemetery every week and so many things have happened over the past year or so that I dread going down now.

“Sometimes the toys and flowers that we’ve arranged there have been scattered all over the place, or snapped in half, and some time last year his plaque was removed and put into one of the bins where people put the dead flowers.

“Last week we went down and the plaque was just gone. We checked all of the bins as it had been dumped there before, but it’s gone.

“It’s horrible, and it’s sick.”

She added: “Half the time I’m scared to go up there in case somebody’s there, or if I find that something has been moved or stolen.”

Carl, who also has a son Carl junior, aged seven, from a previous relationship, said: “We just want anyone who knows whose got it or finds it to ring the police.

“Somebody must have it. It’s a plaque from a little baby’s grave for god’s sake. We just want to go up there and remember him and not have to deal with this as well.”

The pair, of Ellison Street, Hartlepool, were thrilled when Ann-Marie fell pregnant in October 2011 after meeting two-and-a-half years earlier.

But Ann-Marie suffered several complications throughout the pregnancy which resulted in unborn Aston’s heart stopping.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said the green plaque, sized around 5ins by 7ins, was stolen between April 28-29.

She said: “The plaque reads; ‘In loving memory of Aston Troy Thomas Scotney Gorse. One more angel in heaven. One more star in the sky’.”

The theft from baby Aston’s grave comes after the grave of the late Gary Dowson, also in Stranton Cemetery, was scattered with tin foil with what appeared to be traces of heroin on it last month.

His distraught family also said sentimental gifts had also been stolen.

Anyone with information should contact PC Pete Doherty on the non-emergency number 101.




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