Theft from grave in Exmouth is ‘lowest of the low’
PUBLISHED: 09:20 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:20 15 May 2017
A stolen grave tribute has prompted a grieving family to urge the thief to ‘put it back, no questions asked’.
The bereaved family of 20-year-old Ollie Jones, who died in October 2013 in a tragic accident while kayaking off Budleigh Salterton, are appealing to the culprit who took an ornament from his Exmouth churchyard headstone to give it back.
Ollie’s mum, Gill, blasted the thief as the ‘lowest of the low’ and has asked whoever took the monkey ornament to return it to her son’s headstone, saying the theft has caused added pain to the family’s still-raw grief.
Gill, from Withycombe Raleigh, said the monkey ornament had extra sentimental value because Ollie’s nickname was ‘cheeky monkey’.
She said gardeners at St John in the Wilderness Church, where Ollie is buried, told her the headstone tribute had not been removed by them.
“I was so angry - it’s the lowest of the low,” said Gill. “Someone has deliberately taken it. How dare someone touch that; it just adds to our grief.
“Anyone that knows Ollie will know how much this means to us. We would like whoever took it to put it back, no questions asked.
“I thought it was a bit strange his monkey wasn’t there. I asked the gardeners. Even they were surprised and said it should be there. They said no-one has touched it and said it’s obviously been stolen.”
Ollie’s brother, Luke, who bought the small monkey ornament to replace an older, faded version, said: “I am outraged how someone would steal the monkey from the headstone in the first place - I struggle to think what has society come to.
“I bought the monkey at Christmas as a present to Oliver to replace the old one. I couldn’t believe it when my parents said it was missing.”
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