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Grieving man’s sadness as wife’s memorial rose is stolen from pot

PUBLISHED: 09:56 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:56 12 April 2020

A white memorial rose was stolen from Derek Melton's Catton garden        Photo: Archant arcive

A white memorial rose was stolen from Derek Melton's Catton garden Photo: Archant arcive

A grieving man has been left hurt and upset after a thief stole a rose he planted in memory of his wife, who died last year.

A white rose in memory of his late wife was stolen from Derek Melton. Picture: Carl MeltonA white rose in memory of his late wife was stolen from Derek Melton. Picture: Carl Melton

The white rose was ripped out of a pot in Derek Melton’s front garden in Catton, along with seven other plants, overnight on Saturday April 4.

The rose, which was named Peace, was given to the 77-year-old by a family member after the death of his wife, Pauline, who died from cancer in October last year.

It was a gift to give Mr Melton some comfort during grief and, as a result, held huge sentimental value.

His son Carl Melton, a warehouse storeman from Hellesdon, said: “When Dad got the flower, which he called his memorial rose, it was just a stalk in a pot and he nurtured it. He was beginning to see the fruits of his labour as spring arrived.

“He was upset and annoyed, as you would be, when he found out it had been stolen. But he was upset more than anything else as flowers come and go, and he doesn’t want to cause a fuss, but this had a great deal of sentimental value.”

Mr Meton added: “I have no idea who could have done this but they must have been strong and determined as the rose was in a substantial pot. Normally, you would think it was school children and an act of vandalism, but in that scenario you would see them strewn up the road - but these are completely gone.

“I understand It is difficult times because of coronavirus and perhaps someone stole it as they couldn’t get down to the garden centre as they’re shut. Perhaps someone has now got a garden full of some very nice plants.”

The 54-year-old published a Facebook post this week which has prompted offers of replacement roses from well-wishers in Norfolk.

Mr Melton added: “It got more attention than I could imagine and the offers have been very kind. I hope the perpetrators see the post as I wanted to put across what the rose meant to Dad. It is easy to pinch a flower but nobody knows the personal circumstances around them and what it might meant to somebody. The post was also an outlet of venting anger and annoyance.

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“I had hoped communities would stick together with the virus fear and lockdown and then something like this happens. It would be wonderful if it could be returned.”


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