HEARTLESS thieves have stolen flowers from a leukaemia victim’s grave – the latest in a spree of heartless crimes in graveyards across Huddersfield.
Catherine Brook, 59, died in 1996 after a two-year battle against the disease.
Now her memorial at Almondbury Cemetery has been targeted by thieves – the fourth grave attack in Huddersfield in two weeks.
Mrs Brook’s husband, 72-year-old Jeffrey, of Almondbury, made his weekly visit to the cemetery to tidy his wife’s grave.
But he found a geranium and five pansies has been dug up and stolen.
The grave theft is the latest in a spate of attacks on memorials in the Huddersfield area.
Vandals trashed a memorial to car crash victim Leigh Sedgwick at a graveyard at Woodhouse Hill, Sheepridge, around last Tuesday.
And yobs stole plants and smeared dog faeces on a memorial to Philbert Buckle at Lockwood Cemetery between June 21 and 27.
Mr Brook, a retired textile designer, married Catherine, better known as Kitty, in October 1959.
He and Kitty, a doctor’s receptionist, have two sons and three grandchildren.
A year before her death, Kitty – a keen bowler at Kirkheaton and Moldgreen cricket clubs – raised around £500 for Leukaemia Research at Almondbury Church.
Mr Brook said: “I came this morning for my usual visit and someone had dug up six plants.
“It’s unbelievable. I have no idea why they would want to take them. They’ve actually taken the trouble to dig them up. I had a look in the bin, but they weren’t there.
“People who steal from graves are the scum of the earth and mindless idiots.
“I’ve had no problem before. This is the first time this has happened.
“I came to the cemetery expecting to give the grave a nice trim and I found the plants had disappeared.
“I can’t understand why anyone would do this. The plants aren’t worth anything and Kitty was a well-liked person.”
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who lives in Almondbury, has said it is time to get tough on grave attacks.
Mr Sheerman said: “It’s very disturbing and I hope the police can do something like electronic surveillance and I hope they will move swiftly because it’s very upsetting for friends and relatives.
“I will be in touch with the police and churches on Monday to see what can be done to stamp this out.
“These things are often copycat crimes and we want to make the voice of Huddersfield very clear: we take respect for the dead very seriously.”
Anyone with information should contact Huddersfield South Neighbourhood Policing Team on 01484 436724 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.