'Disgraceful' thieves strike again at cemetery as tributes to 94-year-old are stolen
PUBLISHED: 12:49 02 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:49 02 March 2019
A grieving family has hit out at "disgraceful" thieves after tributes to a 94-year-old were stolen and destroyed, less than 24 hours after his funeral.
Great-great-grandfather Frank Beaver was buried at Kirkley Cemetery on Thursday, but became the latest victim on Friday.
Just days earlier, three-year-old Cohen Messenger’s grave, also at Kirkley Cemetery, was raided.
Mr Beaver’s grandson Jamie Smart, who had travelled from Cheshire for the funeral, said: “He was buried on Thursday and some of the family went back to the grave after the wake to see the flowers and read the cards. Because I didn’t, I went with my mother on Friday to see them before I left.
“When we got there about 1pm I noticed there was something missing. There had been a big tea cup and saucer that my cousin had made from her children. The card that went with it was disregarded on the floor.
“We started to look and saw flowers had been pulled out and thrown all over his grave.
“The whole family are quite saddened by it and angry that someone can do something like this. He hadn’t even been in the ground 24 hours.”
A week before, birthday presents were stolen from Cohen’s grave, just weeks after he was laid to rest.
Mr Smart said: “It was in the same graveyard as the poor little boy last week, and we can see his grave from grandad’s.
“We want to get the word out there that this is happening and it has happened again.
“Something needs to be done.
“There are people who have spent their life in the town, paying their taxes, and they are not being looked after. It is disrespectful.
“I hope whoever it was feels ashamed.”
Mr Beaver, who has four children, 11 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren, lived on the Whitton estate for much of his life.
Mr Smart said: “He was a character and did no harm to anyone in his whole life. He never said a wrong word to anyone. It is a disgrace.
“He moved into his house when it was built and was there ever since.
“All of his neighbours knew him around there and they would all stop and talk to him.”