'Please return my angels': Grieving Hartlepool woman's plea after graveside 'theft'

An elderly woman is appealing for the return of two treasured angel ornaments that went missing from a grave in Hartlepool’s Stranton Cemetery.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 6:00 am
Pat Walker at her family plot in Stranton Cemetery holding a photograph of the missing angels. Picture by FRANK REID

Pat Walker, aged 78, has been left upset and angry after the two large ornaments were taken from the plot by suspected thieves.

The angels are about three feet tall and had been in place at the grave, where the ashes of Mrs Walker’s late partner are buried, for ten years.

Their disappearance has been reported to police.

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Pat Walker holding a photograph of one of the missing angels. Picture by FRANK REID

Mrs Walker contacted the Mail to make a direct and emotional plea to whoever took the statues to return them to her.

She said: “The angels have been on my headstone for 10 years. There was one either side.

“I want them back. Somebody must know they have got them.”

Mrs Walker last saw the angels, which hold blue lanterns, on the headstone on October 4.

A photograph of one of Pat Walker's missing angels. Picture by FRANK REID

When she visited again around two weeks later they had disappeared.

She asked council staff in the cemetery office who did not know where they were.

Mrs Walker has also visited local sales rooms and markets to circulate details and check if they have been offered for sale, but has so far had no luck.

She added: “I’m fuming. Why take them, I don’t know?

“When I discovered they were missing I just couldn’t believe my eyes.

“I went home and just couldn’t take it in.”

Mrs Walker had the angels installed at the plot by a stonemason following the death of her partner Ron Thorburn in December 2008.

It is not the first time that the cemetery has seen thefts and acts of vandalism this year.

And in October, the Mail reported how a former allotments site next to the cemetery that is intended for new burials has been a target for antisocial behaviour in recent months including damage to a boundary fencing and fires started.

Mrs Walker is appealing for anyone with information about her angels to contact her on 07788 694297. Alternatively, call Cleveland Police on 101 quoting incident number 210951.