Heartbreak as 'sick' thieves steal teddy bear from Sheffield baby's grave

A Sheffield grandmother has shared her heartbreak as ‘sick’ thieves stole a teddy bear and solar lights from her granddaughter’s grave.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 3:48 pm

Jayne Swift, 53, was disgusted to find criminals had taken items from her granddaughter, Kendal-Chanel’s grave in Woodhouse Cemetery when she went to visit yesterday (Thursday, November 5).

The 53-year-old who lives in Woodhouse said she is certain thieves stole the teddy bear, which was weighted down and the solar lights which were stuck down with industrial tape, instead of the wind blowing them off.

Jayne regularly visits and tidies up Kendal-Chanel’s grave, who was stillborn on September, 10, 2013, as her daughter Stephanie Cocker lives outside of Sheffield.

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Thieves stole a teddy bear and solar lights from Kendal-Chanel's grave, who was stillborn, yesterday (Thursday, November 5).

She turned up to the cemetery yesterday to clear away the balloons that were tied to the grave to commemorate her granddaughter’s birthday two months ago and was shocked to see sentimental items had been stolen.

"We weight all the possessions down on the grave so it has never blown off even in the worst storms we've had”, Jayne said.

"It made me feel sick.

"It might seem nothing to somebody else but if you haven't been through it, if you can't leave something on someone's grave then what can you do?

Grandmother Jayne Swift has labelled the criminals who stole from the grave as 'sick'.

"It's incredibly painful."

The 53-year-old has vowed not to replace the missing teddy bear and solar lights, over fears that they will be stolen by thieves again.

Jayne said two other women have come forward to tell her belongings on their loved one’s graves have also been taken.

"You feel desecrated, it's horrible", she continued.

"If they are going to pinch some solar lights which are worth approximately £10 then what else are they going to go around the graveyard pinching?”

The grandmother explained how her daughter, Stephanie reacted when she found out items had been taken from her still-born daughter’s grave.

"She was upset, her blood was boiling because it's just not on”, Jayne said.

"When she lost Kendal it sent her all over the top anyway, knowing that somebody is going around doing that, it's just not on.

"There's lots of lovely graves going around where Kendal is as well and I don't want them to end up with things stolen.”

The 53-year-old is urging people to be vigilant when visiting cemeteries and to report any suspicious behaviour.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.