September 16, 2009
A COUPLE have been left devastated after heartless thieves stole from their baby son's grave.
Laura and Les Taylor had decorated Lincoln's grave with solar-powered lights following his death last year at just 15 weeks old.
But the couple, who visit Crompton Cemetery every day, were shocked to discover that his plot was one of several memorials targeted by callous vandals.
Laura, aged 32, said: "When we'd visited the previous day everything was as normal, but when we returned we noticed someone had taken Lincoln's lights. Lights had also been broken and smashed on about 10 other graves. It's just disgusting that people can show such little respect. Whoever did this may have had a laugh for five minutes but they don't think about the consequences of their actions. To steal off a baby's grave is heartless."
Lincoln - who was the couple's only child - died on July 17 2008.
An inquest earlier this year ruled he had died of natural causes. His parents, who live in Higher Crompton, claim the cemetery is used as a play park and dog toilet.
Laura added: "It's ridiculous. I was brought up to respect the dead, but people use the cemetery to play ball, ride their bikes and play with their dogs. There's dog fouling everywhere as well. There are many parks in Shaw that they can use. Something needs to be done. "
Councillor Mark Alcock, environment spokesman, said the council sympathised with the family. But he added: "We discourage placing solar lights and other unusual tributes on graves that may attract attention to steal or vandalise as these being stolen causes additional distress for the family concerned. We spend over £50,000 a year providing security patrols in the borough's cemeteries. This ensures they are visited at irregular intervals 24 hours a day seven days a week. We will look at stepping up patrols in Crompton Cemetery."