A CAKE commemorating the birthday of a tragic teenage road crash victim was the only thing stolen during a break-in.
Thieves smashed a window to grab the cake made in memory of Gemma Cost, who died on Wakefield Road in Waterloo aged 15.
Her father David, 51, has continued the tradition of baking for his daughter’s birthday every year since her death in 2006.
He said: “The burglars wouldn’t have known it was for Gemma, but it was quite clear it was a birthday cake. There was a card and some flowers on the window sill too. They’re very selfish, very mindless.”
Gemma was in a car with 16-year-olds Ursula Alokolaro, of Batley, and Natalie Donlan, of Dewsbury, that crashed on September 1, 2006. All three girls died.
Their driver, James Houston, of Hillhouse, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving but was deemed unfit to stand trial because he had suffered serious brain damage.
Adam Anguige, who had been racing Houston in another car, was found guilty of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving. He was jailed for 10 years in 2008.
Mr Cost, a school caretaker who lives with his son Jonathan, 24, on Fountain’s Avenue in Staincliffe, Batley, still marks Gemma’s birthday, February 27, every year.
He said: “From both the children being born, I’ve always made them a birthday cake.
“After Gemma died, I decided to carry the tradition on – I’ll make one to take to the cemetery where she is buried and give it to the foxes, who eat it bit by bit, and one for the family.
“This year I’d only made one and I was going to take a slice up to the cemetery in Batley.”
The break-in happened between 10.30pm on Saturday and 2.30am on Sunday.
Mr Cost was out and Jonathan was on a night out in Wakefield celebrating Gemma’s birthday at the time.
It is thought the family dog scared the intruders off before they had a chance to steal anything else.
Candles from the cake and the plate it had been on were later found discarded in a nearby field.
Mr Cost said: “The burglars would have had to pick out the shards of glass caused by the smashed window to eat it.
“We are trying to look at the lighter side – because of the sort of person she was, Gemma would be laughing about it.
“I still have bits of Gemma’s jewellery, along with photographs, in the house. If they had got in and taken those, I would be in a completely different frame of mind.”
Anyone with information should contact PC Nigel Milner at Batley Neighbourhood Policing Team on 01924 295301.