Memorial bench stolen from Whitlingham Country park

A Norwich man has spoken of his distress after a bench in memory of his mother was stolen just two months after it was installed.

Graham Loton, from Lakenham, put a memorial bench in Whitlingham Country Park, in memory of his mother Elsie Weeden, who died in her early fifties from motor neurone disease when he was 15.

Mr Loton, who is in his fifties, and regularly goes running in the park, said: 'It was very poignant to me that I could do something to remember her.

'I can't believe this has happened, this is a heartless crime. That bench meant so much to me and her memory. If whoever has taken it, if they have any heart at all could they at least return the plaque as it has real emotional value to me.'

Mr Loton said he realised it was missing on Sunday. 'I went past the spot where we put the bench and it wasn't there. It had been ripped out of the ground. It was a complete shock. It upset my Father's Day.'

There was a small brass plaque on the bench which reads: 'In loving memory of my Mum born Violet Elsie Weeden, died when I was 15 from motor neurone disease.'

The idea for the bench came to Mr Loton while he was out running earlier in the year and saw another bench, in memory of a young girl who had also died from motor neurone disease.

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'I thought it was a lovely thing and I decided to put one there in memory of my mum.'

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: 'The memorial bench was stolen some time between 6pm on Friday, June 17, and 8.30am on Sunday, June 19 at the Whitlingham park.'

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of the bench should contact officers from Poringland safer neighbourhood team on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Have you had something of great sentimental value stolen? Contact Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email