A GRIEVING widow’s home was ransacked by burglars who made off with irreplaceable items including her late husband’s wedding ring - after trampling over his ashes which had been scattered in her garden.
The thieves smashed through a patio door at Anne Hattersley’s bungalow on Toll Bar Road, Gleadless, Sheffield, and rifled through her dressing table drawers and stole two jewellery boxes from her bedroom. The boxes contained Anne’s late husband Norman’s wedding ring, her engagement ring, wedding ring and an engraved gold bracelet. Anne told The Star she had been left ‘sad and angry’ by the cruel thefts, and asked: “How can they do something like this?”
Anne said the burglars had walked over Norman’s ashes as they clambered over the garden fence and walked through the garden where they
had been scattered. Norman, who used to own cab firm Abbey Taxis, passed away aged 76 in 2009.
Anne said: “They must have come over his ashes, I spread them all round this little stone that had two little puppy dogs on top that he painted.
“I was upset at first but now I’m angry, so sad and angry. It was his wedding ring going missing which hurt me more than anything - that they stole Norman’s ring.
“They’ve taken things that mean something to me. How can they do something like this? I’m not frightened of them, I just wish they’d come back again, because I will be waiting.”
Also in the boxes was a watch belonging to Norman, a photo of the couple together and letters he sent to Anne, as well as sentimental items such as a pound coin belonging to her late father, Bernard.
“When my father died in 1987, my mum found a pound coin at the bottom of his wardrobe, and gave it to me - other people might not care, but it’s very sentimental. There was so much I used to keep,” Anne said.
Anne, aged 65, said she was gardening with her daughter at her 92-year-old mother’s home nearby when a neighbour phoned with news of the burglary on Sunday afternoon.
“We got a phone call from my neighbour who lives opposite, telling me to come home - the police were already there,” she said.
“The burglars had smashed through the patio door - it’s a solid wall of glass, a five foot by five foot window.
“They were absolutely determined to get in, another neighbour heard the glass smashing.
“They broke one of them so they could walk in, then they’ve gone through the lounge, came through into my hall and gone in the bedroom.
“They took all my tops out very neatly like I leave them, and went through my drawers. There were two jewellery boxes inside, and they’ve taken them.”
Norman’s wedding ring was a plain gold band, while Anne’s engagement ring was inlaid with a sapphire and a diamond. The thieves also took a gold bangle given to Anne by her first husband, Guy, whom she divorced in 1981.
“The bangle was inscribed on the inside with something like ‘To my darling Anne, from Guy’,” she said. “My wedding ring wasn’t cut diamond, but it was of that ilk.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed they are investigating the burglary, which happened between midday and 1.55pm.
Anyone with information about the incident, or who was in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious, should call 0114 2202020 quoting incident number 571 of April 17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.