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Theft shock for grieving parents

PUBLISHED: 11:20 06 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 06 July 2010

THE grieving parents of a Reydon teenager who died earlier this year have been left devastated after the theft of a brass plaque from a memorial bench in a churchyard.

THE grieving parents of a Reydon teenager who died earlier this year have been left devastated after the theft of a brass plaque from a memorial bench in a churchyard.

Daniel Hannant, 19, below, died in March following a night out in Southwold.

His body was found in Buss Creek three days after he was last seen leaving the Royal British Legion Club in Blackmill Road, Southwold.

Daniel's parents, Michael and Patricia Hannant, had a memorial bench installed in the churchyard at St Margaret's Church, Reydon, with a brass plaque which stated it was in memory of Daniel.

Both parents, along with Daniel's many friends used the bench when visiting his nearby grave. It was also a popular resting place for other people visiting the churchyard.

However, thieves struck this week and the brass plaque was removed some time between Monday lunchtime and Tuesday morning.

Mr Hannant said he visited the grave on Monday and the plaque was in place but when his wife went there the following day it was missing.

“My wife was in tears when she returned home to say the plaque was missing. It is very upsetting and we cannot understand why anyone would want to do such a thing. It was not broken off but all four screws had been removed,” said Mr Hannant.

Team vicar Rev Richard Henderson said he was saddened to learn of the theft.

“When Michael told me what had happened I could not believe it. I immediately went to the churchyard and searched around the area in the hope that the plaque may have been blown off in strong winds but there was no sign of it. It is very sad but it appears that the screws have been removed and the plaque stolen,” he said.

Mr Hannant has reported the theft to the police but is still at a loss to understand the motives of the thief.

“This was a memorial bench with a plaque that had Daniel's name and age on it. It was in a churchyard so how anyone can go along there to steal something is unbelievable,” he said.

Suffolk police have confirmed that the theft of the 6in x 4in brass plaque has been reported to them and anyone with information is asked to contact their local police station.

A date for Daniel Hannant's full inquest has still to be set.


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