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Baby ashes only safe at home

PUBLISHED: 10:22 09 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK family beset by a string of infant tragedies have been forced to move their tiny son's ashes into their home after thieves stole teddy bears from his grave.

A SUFFOLK family beset by a string of infant tragedies have been forced to move their tiny son's ashes into their home after thieves stole teddy bears from his grave.

Cheryl Peachey today branded thieves who struck at Ipswich Cemetery's Temple of Remembrance "despicable",

"I feel absolutely gutted that people could stoop this low - after all that he had suffered and we have been through," said Mrs Peachey, of the desecration to her son Keiryn's grave.

"Now he's at home - he's not safe anywhere else. We did not want to be lying awake at night worrying that someone might have covered his niche in marker pen or something."

Since Keiryn died in January this year, Mrs Peachey and husband Andrew have devoted much of their time to tending the shrine of their little boy.

His urn of ashes stood in a niche at the Temple surrounded by a brown teddy, a ceramic cherished teddy bear and a yellow elephant that his two-year-old brother Jordyn >>>>> bought for him.

But the family was left distraught when they visited the grave to find everything had disappeared on Friday. The following morning they swiftly moved everything back to their home in the east of Ipswich

The callous thefts were the latest blow to the Peacheys whose efforts to build a family have been so often ended in heartbreak.

Over the past five years, Mrs Peachey has lost four babies, including Keiryn, suffering two ectopic pregnancies and a miscarriage.

Mrs Peachey said: "Taking items from any grave is bad enough but from a baby who is not even 12 months dead is despicable. It is the one place where we felt he would be at peace."

"Please give the teddies back," she appealed. "They mean nothing to anyone else and Jordan bought the little yellow one with his own pocket money. They are inexpensive but they mean so much."

This heartless crime has come as a kick in the teeth for battler Mrs Peachey, who hit the headlines after campaigning for changes at Ipswich hospital's maternity department.

Following her campaign a £500,000 boost was given to improve maternity services after Mrs Peachey said that quieter counselling rooms were needed for those who had lost their babies.

The theft at the council-run cemetery in Cemetery Road has disgusted the authorities, who branded the perpetrators "sick".

"We have never had an incident like this before and we are obviously very upset with all our sympathies going out to Keiryn's family," said a spokesman. "In light of this action we are now considering what security steps or extra security measures we could take. In the mean time we would welcome all the help that the Evening Star and its readers can give us in catching these sick people."

Mrs Peachey, however, is not the only person to have suffered a heartbreaking theft at the cemetery.

It emerged that Ipswich Second World War veteran Donald Garnham discovered on Sunday that someone had stolen two vases from on top his wife Joyce's casket, favourites of hers since Mr Garnham brought them home from his service in the deserts of North Africa.

The 79-year-old from Maidenhall Approach called into BBC Radio Suffolk in disgust after the sickening robbery happened at cemetery's same Temple of Remembrance at the cemetery.

Today he told the Star: "I bought each vase for five cigarettes each. Neither were very large but they even took the flowers in them."

* What do you think of these outrages? Write to us with your opinions to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk IP4 1AN, fax on 01473 225296 or email EveningStarLetters@ecng.co.uk

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