A thief has stolen from the grave of a Sheffield war hero who gave his life for his country in Afghanistan - a crime branded ‘disgusting’ by grieving relatives today.
RAF Senior Aircraftman Christopher Bridge, aged 20, was killed in a bomb blast in Kandahar in 2007 and is laid to rest in Shiregreen Cemetery, Sheffield.
But his heartbroken mum, Nicolette Williams, 50, discovered his grave had been raided during a visit to mark the seventh anniversary of her beloved son’s death.
Two small statues which had been placed on the grave to keep watch over Christopher were taken - and metal spitfire models have been stolen in the past.
Nicolette, who spends her time raising money for the charity Help for Heroes, said today she is both saddened and angry at the theft.
“Discovering the theft made my stomach churn,” she told The Star.
“It has sickened me that somebody could not only steal from a grave, but the grave of somebody who laid down his life for his country. It is disgusting.
“It has made me really upset, and also really angry, because Christopher lost his life for our freedom - yet some scum thinks it is acceptable to steal things from his grave. They must have no conscience.”
Nicolette, who visits her son’s grave three times a week, said she is sad a serviceman’s grave would be targeted.
“It is obviously the grave of a serviceman - do people not have any respect?
“It is hard to think that somebody would care so little about what he did for our country.”
She said other graves have also been targeted in the cemetery.
“There’s a grave on the next row to Christopher’s, for a young man who died from cancer, and items have been stolen from his grave before too,” she said.
“His dad told me that something else was taken at a similar time to when Christopher’s statues of Buddhist monks were taken.
“There are obviously people out there just looking for easy things to steal. It’s heartbreaking.”
Nicolette raised £35,000 for a war memorial to be erected in Shiregreen Cemetery following her son’s death.
She was helped by Ann Fellows, whose Royal Marine son Lance Corporal Steven Jamie Fellows was killed in Afghanistan the following year.
Christopher joined the RAF in June 2005 and had also served in southern Iraq.
He was described following his death as ‘extremely popular and professional’.
His colleagues said he was ‘dependable and hard working’ and that his ‘infectious sense of humour made him stand out’.
Anyone with information about thefts from the graves is urged to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.
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