Thieves strike while family at toddler's hospital bedside

THE parents of a seriously ill toddler have spoken of their heartbreak after “despicable” thieves stole a camera packed with precious family pictures during a break-in.

Elliot Furniss

THE parents of a seriously ill toddler have spoken of their heartbreak after “despicable” thieves stole a camera packed with precious family pictures during a break-in.

Stevie Golding and her partner Ryan Smith were maintaining a vigil at the bedside of two-year-old daughter Taylor in Colchester General Hospital when the burglars struck at their home.

The family, who live in Lord Holland Road, Colchester, lost a number of prized possessions including the black Kodak digital camera, which contained images taken at Christmas and at Taylor's recent birthday, before she went in to hospital six weeks ago.


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As well as the camera, a Nintendo Wii console and games were taken, along with two watches and the little girl's money box.

Miss Golding, 21, said she was desperate to get the camera back as the pictures meant so much to her and her partner.

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She said: “You just don't expect it to happen - you never think 'it will happen to me' because it's a one-in-a-million chance.

“The pictures show my little daughter growing up and when she was born and her birthdays. It's a horrible thing to do. When they took it away they took my memories with it.

“I just want my photos back.”

Miss Golding and Mr Smith, a 23-year-old plasterer, have now installed a burglar alarm at their home after being left devastated by the break-in, but the mother-of-one said they were now focussing their energy on supporting Taylor.

Miss Golding, who works with children with learning difficulties in Colchester, said her daughter was a “little fighter”.

She added: “No matter how ill she is she will always smile - she never cries.”

Detectives are now working to trace the heartless thieves who broke into the house at some point between 1.30pm and 9.30pm on last Thursday.

They gained access to the property by smashing open a back door.

Detective Constable Tim Harris, who is investigating the burglary, called for anyone with information about the incident to get in touch.

He said: “These despicable thieves have taken advantage of this family's very sad circumstances and have broken in at a time when the parents were at the hospital.

“The couple desperately want to get back the items that are of great sentimental value to them, especially the digital camera that contains birthday and Christmas pictures of their daughter that have not yet been downloaded.”

Anyone with information should contact Det Con Harris at Colchester CID on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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