BEREAVED families left devastated when thieves stole memorial plaques have welcomed the donation of replacements.
Scrap metal thieves stole 169 memorial plaques from St Mary’s Church in Mirfield last September. They were valued at £24,000.
The small brass or copper plaques were in the church’s memorial garden and the theft left the community stunned.
Now staff at funeral home Joseph Sheard, based on Nettleton Road, Mirfield, has contacted all 23 of their clients who had plaques stolen and offered to pay for replacement memorial plaques to their loved ones.
James Herbert, funeral home manager at Joseph Sheards, said: “This is a small, close community where families know each other well and the thefts hit the community hard.
“We wanted to do something to help so we’ve been in touch with all the families we’ve carried out funerals for who were affected and they’ve been so thankful.”
The 169 brass memorial plaques were stolen from the memorial garden at St Mary’s Church and then sold for scrap.
Two people were later convicted over the crimes.
Nathan Hallsworth pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods. He sold some of the plaques to a Wakefield scrapyard for just £30.40.
He was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay compensation.
Co-defendant Jake Telford, aged 17 at the time, was convicted of selling the majority of the plaques after he weighed in 44kg of them, making £112.50.
He was given an 18-month sentence for the three offences and was made the subject of a four-year anti-social behaviour order.