PRECIOUS photographs and videos of a young Sheffield dad taken just before he died on holiday have been stolen by thieves who raided his grieving widow’s house.
Justin Dephley, aged 35, died unexpectedly during a holiday in Bulgaria with his wife Joanne, 42 and their 13-year-old daughter Paris in August 2008.
His devastated wife kept photographs and videos they took on the holiday on their digital camera but it was stolen from her house when thieves broke in while she was upstairs.
She had put copies on to her computer as a back-up but they are irretrievable because the machine is broken.
Joanne said she is desperate for the Cyber Shot camera to be returned.
“Those pictures and videos were taken in the last few days and hours we all had together as a family - they are irreplaceable and I am desperate to get them back,” she said.
“I am not interested in the person who took it, all I want is the camera back - those pictures mean everything to me.
“We had been in Bulgaria a week before Justin died so my daughter and I have lots of happy memories of those days when we were all together so I am pleading with anyone who knows where the camera is to please give it back.
“It was Justin’s birthday recently and my daughter wrote a message on her Facebook page saying that she misses him more every day.
“It is really important that she has every single picture there is of her dad for her to look back on and remember him.”
Joanne’s handbag, which contained cards Justin had sent her on bouquets of flowers over the years, was also stolen during the break-in.
The Sheffield nurse has called a number of second hand stores in Sheffield asking whether they have bought the camera and offering to buy it back from them but without success.
Joanne, from Netherthorpe, who was with Justin for 17 years before tragedy struck, said her son saw the burglar leaving their house and chased him out of the garden.
Another man was spotted hiding behind the garden wall while the intruder was in the house.
“I had just finished ironing and was putting the clothes away when I heard a bang downstairs and realised somebody was in,” she said.
“I can’t believe that they came into my home while we were still in it.
“You think there can be nowhere safer than your own home but this proves otherwise.”
Joanne said she is still struggling to come to terms with the shock death, which has had to be put down to sudden adult death syndrome because of the lack of information available from the Bulgarian authorities.
“Justin was a DJ in bars on West Street and Division Street so he was really well known and popular,” she said.
“He was really upbeat and I still keep expecting him to walk through the door.
“Sometimes if I hear something funny I turn round to tell Justin but he’s not there, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.
“He is really badly missed and life is very quiet without him.”
n Anyone with information about the break-in at 6pm on Sunday January 16, or the whereabouts of the camera, should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 and quote K/5355/2011.