Exmouth mum’s heartbreak

An Exmouth first-time mum is appealing to the better nature of a burglar who this week stole photographs and video footage of the first month of her twin sons’ lives.

Rachel Burnett’s five-year battle to have a baby ended happily last month when she gave birth to twins, Ben and Felix – but her precious memories of their birth, first family cuddles and early weeks of being a mum were lost this week when a thief stole her laptop full of the treasured images from her Halsdon Road home, in The Colony.

The heartbroken mum tearfully explained some of the video and photographic footage included the moments when the boys were born by caesarean – which Rachel, 37, missed as she was under general anaesthetic.

Rachel is appealing to the burglar to return the laptop – no questions asked.

She said: “When I realised the photos had gone, it was like the bottom had dropped out of my world.

“They were the only record. I have not even seen the photographs of their birth because I am a technophobe and could not access them on the computer.

“We have waited for this for so many years. We have finally got our precious boys. It just hurts. It really hurts.

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“You feel so vulnerable, they are so tiny. It’s a very special time and whoever did this can’t take that away from us. We have just got to hope we get the photographs back.

“At the moment, everything merges into one. In years to come, I thought I would be able to look back over those things on the laptop and say ‘oh, we did this and we did that’. They change so quickly – even the tiny wee noises they make.

“We have loved those days and to be able to take photographs of them, but now some burglar goes and takes them.

“I would appeal to whoever took our laptop to please, please return it. It would make my world. I would even give a reward to get it back.”

The twins’ dad, Nigel Bradford, 51, said: “They have stolen those memories from the children - it’s stealing from babies.

“When they were older, they would have loved to look back at them.

“It’s not about the money to us, it’s the memories.”

The family was burgled in the early hours of Monday, while Rachel and the babies were asleep and their dad, Nigel, was busy on a computer in an attic room.

The couple believe the culprit hit between midnight and one o’clock. The pair noticed they had been burgled at 2am. It is thought the burglar entered the family home through an unlocked back door.

Picking their way through baby changing mats, bouncy chairs, in the room where a string of new baby congratulation cards still hang, the burglar emptied out a nappy changing bag, stole an iPod, Rachel’s handbag, cash, keys, bankcards, video camera and a black Acer laptop, full of family photographs.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Rachel and Nigel were reunited with keys, bank cards and the stolen video camera after the possessions were recovered in Exmouth.

The couple thanked everyone for their help, returning the items.

? Do you know the whereabouts of Rachel’s laptop? Contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or Exmouth police on 101, quoting crime ref KE/11/2503.

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