"Thieves are targeting my daughter's grave - it’s completely soul destroying," says heartbroken Barnsley mum

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A mother whose grave has been targeted by thieves is calling for changes to security after the “soul-destroying” discovery.

The grave of eight-year-old Stacey Louise Ogley, who died tragically in 1993, was ransacked and ornaments including a Cinderella carriage, which was a family Christmas present from her brother Stephen, was stolen. A bench dedicated to Stacey was smashed.

The missing ornaments were last seen by Stacey’s mother, Wendy Ogley, on April 12 while she was tending to the grave and surrounding grass.

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Stacey Louise Ogley's grave with Cinderella carriage at the centre-bottom (Credit: Wendy Ogley)Stacey Louise Ogley's grave with Cinderella carriage at the centre-bottom (Credit: Wendy Ogley)
Stacey Louise Ogley's grave with Cinderella carriage at the centre-bottom (Credit: Wendy Ogley)

She made the heartbreaking discovery of the theft and vandalism the following day.

Wendy, who is a carer for the elderly, said: “There’s nothing else to say other than it’s completely soul destroying.

“No parent should ever have to lose a child but these things happen. But to steal from a child’s grave it’s heartbreaking - I don’t understand what goes through people’s minds, they must have no conscience.”

The £100 stone Cinderella carriage was specially made but Wendy explained that the cost was not important, is is the principle.

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Stacey's grave has been targeted by thievesStacey's grave has been targeted by thieves
Stacey's grave has been targeted by thieves

She said: “It’s a family grave, me and her dad will be going in there eventually. All I ask is for people to leave the stuff alone.

“Her grave is the only place of comfort I get from going.”

Mrs Ogley has tended the grave in Carlton Cemetery for over 30 years to feel close to her daughter and explained that it is not the first time possessions had been vandalised.

Two years ago, several photos of her daughter were smashed costing over £250 to replace.

The mother who lives in Barnsley explained that the theft could only have been achieved with the use of vehicle as the ornaments were too heavy to lift.

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Mrs Ogley added that attempts prevent thefts at the cemetery had been introduced previously, including locking the gate for vehicles past 10pm, but they were revoked after people wanting to visit their loved ones after dark complained.

She said: “The council put up a sign that says no cars in the cemetery but no-one adheres to it.

“People can’t always keep blaming the kids. It’s not the kids, it’s people who have had a browse of the cemetery and thought ‘I’ll have that’.”

Mrs Ogley expressed a need for CCTV and explained that although it is a pity that CCTV is required, having some surveillance would put people’s mind’s at rest.

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She said: “Something needs to change because I can’t take it anymore.

“It’s heart-breaking, it shouldn’t happen to anyone’s grave, never mind a child’s.”

Paul Castle, of Barnsley Council, said: “Unfortunately, there is a very small number of people that show little respect to our borough’s cemeteries. It is sad and quite unfortunate that anyone has to deal with theft from a grave.

“We are aware of parking issues and there are several signs advising on this. Parents have been asked not to use the cemetery as a school pick-up and drop-off point, and we’d like to remind them to respect this request. We will ask our enforcement team to carry out patrols.”

To report any further incidents call the Bereavement Services Team on 01226 206053.