Fury at funeral parlour theft

A HEARTBROKEN husband has spoken of his devastation after thieves stole his dead wife's wedding ring from a Suffolk funeral directors - just days before she was buried.

A HEARTBROKEN husband has spoken of his devastation after thieves stole his dead wife's wedding ring from a Suffolk funeral directors - just days before she was buried.

Fresh from losing his beloved wife to cancer, he faced further distress following the shocking crime and has now offered a £500 reward for the return of the jewellery, which holds massive sentimental value.

Police and bosses at HJ Paintin's, in Haverhill, have also joined forces to make urgent appeals for witnesses after an office at the family-run funeral directors was raided and the ring, along with a number of other items, were stolen from a small safe.

Solicitor Dawn Kiddy, acting on behalf of the widower, who is from Haverhill but has not been named, said: “My client was devastated by the loss of his wife and now he is equally devastated at the theft of items which are irreplaceable to him.

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“My client is willing to pay a £500 reward for information leading to the safe return of both the ring and the locket.”

A spokesman for the business, which has been part of the town for more than 100 years, said they were sickened by the theft.

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“The Paintin family would like to make a personal appeal to those people who broke into the premises and stole the safe and numerous irreplaceable items,” the spokesman said.

“Amongst the items taken was a clearly labelled package which contained jewellery that had been personally removed by ourselves from a deceased lady at her family's request and kept in readiness for them to collect from our office.

“This jewellery cannot be replaced or have a value put on it - understandably this lady's family, already deeply saddened by her death, are now totally devastated by the theft of her personal jewellery which has, of course, great sentimental value to them and is so precious.

“We are very upset and shocked at this callous and insensitive crime which has caused further distress to bereaved families at an already very difficult time in their lives.”

Raiders broke into the funeral directors in Withersfield Road sometime between 5pm on October 10 and 9am on October 11.

They stole a small safe containing the gold wedding ring and a gold heart-shaped locket, which police last night revealed had two tooth marks on it, belonging to the cancer victim, whose funeral took place last week.

Charitable donations, in the form of cash and cheques, and a photograph, supplied by another grieving family to be used for a memorial tablet, were also stolen from the company.

“If the people concerned can see it in their hearts to anonymously return these personal items, then both the families involved and ourselves would be extremely grateful and so very relieved,” the spokesman added.

“The Paintin family would like to assure families, who had loved ones in the Haverhill chapel of rest at this time, that they were not disturbed in any way.

“We would like to confirm that the thieves did not gain access into the area where the deceased are at rest.”

The company has also appealed to anyone who made donations or payments to them between October 6 and October 11 to get in contact.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or anyone who has information to assist police with their enquiries. We would also like to hear from anyone who finds a safe abandoned in the area.”

Anyone with information should contact DC Jacqueline Mumford at Haverhill CID on 01284 774100.

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