A FAMILY has been left shocked after they found that the grave of their baby son had been struck by thieves and vandals.
They say that while the damage and stolen items were not expensive, the sentimental value makes the theft all the more ‘disgusting’.
Nikki Martin, 23, and Ben Leah, 27, from Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, lost their baby son Jaden on 12th August 2011.
He died from complications after being born 22 weeks premature.
They have visited his grave at Gainsborough Cemetery on numerous occasions to find items damaged, but earlier this month they were shocked to find that a little red toy train they had left there for him had been stolen.
“It’s not expensive - it’s just the sentimental part of it that hurts,” said Nikki.
“We bought these things for him, and he’s not here so we can’t give him all the things we wanted to. The least we can do is come here and make things nice for him, so when people come and ruin his grave it’s just not fair.”
She continued: “He was my boy and this is his stuff - no one else’s.”
“This is a graveyard and these are people’s loved-ones. It’s wrong to steal from anyone - let alone my baby boy.”
Nikki added: “The people that work here are great at their jobs, but the council need to do more to make it more secure and pull their fingers out.”
Her partner Ben said: “It makes me mad and upset.”
“I have been up here before to find the little windmills we leave here for him have been pulled out of the ground and snapped.”
“I’ve got two kids that like to leave drawings and presents for Jaden, and they’d be devastated to hear what’s happened. I just hope the people responsible realise how much they’ve upset us by doing this and I hope they feel guilty.”
Ben went on: “Some CCTV to make the place more secure would be nice, but they should start with the little things like fixing holes in the fences to make it harder for people to get in.”
“We’re thinking of getting a petition together to get as many people involved as possible and get something done.”
A spokesman from Gainsborough Town Council said they were sorry to hear about the incident, but that they were working closely with police to make it as secure as they could.
“We get very concerned about any tampering with a grave and we find it disgraceful and highly disrespectful,” he said. “The cemetery has its opening hours which are adhered to, but it is a vast area and people do climb the fences.”
“The council are working very closely with police and PCSOs to try and minimise damage and break-ins.”
A spokesman for Lincs Police said: “It is believed the theft took place between 4pm on Saturday 7th January and 2.30pm on Sunday 8th January.”
“A small red wooden train and carriage set was taken from a grave at the cemetery off Cox’s Hill in Gainsborough.”
He added: “Police are appealing for anyone who has any information, or who knows where the toy may be, to get in touch with them as soon as possible.”
Anyone with info can call Lincs Police on 101 or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.