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Mother’s sadness as ornaments stolen from son’s grave once again

PUBLISHED: 09:01 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:22 22 December 2017

David Webb's grave in Earlham Road Cemetry. Picture: Mrs Webb

David Webb's grave in Earlham Road Cemetry. Picture: Mrs Webb

Archant

A mother from Norwich has been left devastated after ornaments were stolen from her son’s grave in Earlham cemetery - again.

Mrs Webb replacement ornament was also stolen from her son's grave. Picture: Mrs WebbMrs Webb replacement ornament was also stolen from her son's grave. Picture: Mrs Webb

A memorial statue of a dog was stolen from David Webb’s grave in 2013 and his mother, Wendy, had since replaced it with a replica and an additional statue.

Mrs Webb was visiting to lay a Christmas wreath when she realised the replacement ornaments were nowhere to be seen.

She said: “As I was tidying up the grave something didn’t feel right, then suddenly it hit me that the ornaments were missing and it was like a whole new grief.”

David Webb lived with severe autism and was found hanged in his room during his first term at Plymouth University, aged 19.

Mrs Webb had marked the ornament in case it was stolen. Picture: Mrs WebbMrs Webb had marked the ornament in case it was stolen. Picture: Mrs Webb

Mrs Webb said the dog ornament, which she named Max, was of symbolic importance.

She said: “One day David went to stay with a carer who had a big labrador and he was scared of dogs prior to that. But once he learnt that there was nothing to fear he was thrilled and he loved that dog.

“So Max the dog is supposed to represent that dog and his love.

“Also dogs have been used to represent guards on graves for centuries, and we liked to think Max was protecting David.

Mrs Webb has been devastated by the theft of her ornaments. Picture: Mrs WebbMrs Webb has been devastated by the theft of her ornaments. Picture: Mrs Webb

“I have been back and planted flowers instead, in the hope that nobody would go to the effort of digging those out of the ground, hopefully.”

Mrs Webb said the theft had a profound effect on her and she believed the culprits could not be aware of the extent of the upset they had caused.

She said: “There’s nothing you can do - your son is dead and buried and looking after his grave is all you have. It feels in the heart like you are giving a gift, even though he is gone. By making it look nice I am expressing my love and to have that undermined is dreadful.

“It is a shocking crime. These thieves can’t realise how much their acts hurt people.

“In that graveyard you’ve got people of all ages, and remembering your loved ones is very important and special for the bereaved.

“Remembering our son is all I can do. I can’t give him a hug, I can’t cook him breakfast. I can’t have him with me at Christmas. All I can do is give him an ornament at his grave and let people know he was loved, so I’m devastated that has been taken away.”

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