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Suffolk: Family of Speedway rider’s son, who was killed in a crash, left devastated over theft from his shrine

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 April 2013

Joanne Louis holds a photo of her son Rhys Loram by what remains of his memorial in his younger brother’s room that was burgled in Crowfield on Tuesday, 23 April.

Joanne Louis holds a photo of her son Rhys Loram by what remains of his memorial in his younger brother’s room that was burgled in Crowfield on Tuesday, 23 April.

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A FAMILY has been left “broken” after thieves took precious items from the shrine of a former Speedway world champion’s son who died just over a year ago.

Rhys Loram, who was the son of ex-Ipswich Witches star Mark Loram, was just 18 when he was killed in a collision with a Nissan van in November 2011.

His devastated mum Joanne Louis, of Debenham Road, Crowfield was visiting his grave at the village church on Tuesday afternoon when the burglary happened. On returning home, she was horrified to find that thieves had stolen a treasured necklace belonging to the motocross rider, which made up part of a shrine in his brother’s bedroom.

The 47-year-old, who said she had considered burying Rhys with the necklace but decided to keep it as a permanent reminder of him, said: “It’s worth no value to anyone but it means everything to us.”

The theft has hit his younger brother, Haydn, hard.

Miss Louis explained: “Haydn cried as much as he did at Rhys’s funeral. He could not speak. He was broken and I was even more broken seeing him like that. Rhys was his best friend.

“I was taken straight back to the moment when I was holding Rhys in my arms after the accident.”

She added: “Haydn is a very strong-natured child and has been dealing with it but this has brought it all back. It is our worst nightmare.

“He now knows every day and every night the one thing he treasures the most is not there. He doesn’t want someone else to have it because no-one else will love Rhys like he did.”

Although Miss Louis visits the grave every day, this date was particularly poignant as it was exactly a year and five months since his death.

“I was feeling down and missing him so much. I went to the church where he is and had a good cry. It was already a bad day because it was the 23rd. Then I came home and found I had been burgled,” she said.

“I’m so angry. This has shocked me to the bone and made me so numb that I can hardly form an opinion on it.

“I’m so disgusted as there is no way they could not have known it was a shrine. I do not understand why they would take that.

“I spoke to Rhys’s dad Mark and he was revolted by it too.”

Rhys’s father Mark, who was world champion in 2000, raced for the Ipswich Witches in 1989 and between 2006 and 2009 and in 2007 he broke his left thigh and fractured his left arm.

Miss Louis had been signed off work with depression since the accident and had only just returned this week.

She added: “If someone’s got a bit of conscience, please give it back. They can have everything else – we just want the necklace back. We would do anything.”

The thieves also made off with cash, jewellery and Haydn’s BlackBerry phone, although it was the items belonging to Rhys, including two pairs of goggles, that has left them distraught.

The silver-coloured necklace was engraved with the number ‘87’ (Rhys’s motocross number) and the words “Live to Ride”.

Thieves found their way into the house via an opened window some time between 2.30pm and 3.30pm. on Tuesday.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to contact them at the Bury Priority Crime Team on 101 or anonymously at Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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