Family's fury after memorial theft

AN Ipswich family are today distraught and angry after heartless thieves stole a memorial to their son and brother.

AN Ipswich family are today distraught and angry after heartless thieves stole a memorial to their son and brother.

Ashley Dorling, 15, died after he was pulled from a murky pond on Jovian Way in Ipswich on Saturday, July 4.

The Lavender Hill teenager was enjoying the sunshine with a friend and his older brother Gary when the tragedy unfolded at the pond, on the housing development near to Morrisons on the Sproughton industrial estate.

In the days immediately after Ashley's death, tributes were paid at the scene of the accident.

A wooden cross was donated by a caring member of the public, providing his family with a memorial to visit, adorned with a picture of Ashley, some rosary beads and other mementos marking his short life.

But two weeks ago his family were told the entire memorial to their beloved Ashley had been stolen, between Sunday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 29.

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Today his grieving family are devastated by the cruel act, struggling to come to terms with why someone would do such a thing.

His mum Rosemary Dorling said no-one had any right to touch the memorial.

“I was very upset, I cried,” she said. “Why would someone do that?

“We do not want another cross we want that one. And knowing his photo has gone as well is awful.”

And Amy Steward, one of Ashley's older sisters, said she was angry at whoever took the precious tribute.

“For someone to be taking my brother's stuff knowing he isn't here anymore is just disrespectful, no-one has any idea where it is.

“It was there for us and his friends to remember him by. No matter what that person can't take away our memories of Ashley but it is just heartless.”

Ashley's family are appealing for whoever took the memorial to return it to the site as soon as possible.

The family have reported the theft to Suffolk police, and officers are appealing for anyone with any information about where the memorial is or who took it to contact PC Adam Long on 01473 613500.

ASHLEY Dorling's family are holding a memorial walk to remember his life on Saturday.

Friends and family members, wearing T-shirts with posters of Ashley attached will set off from Christchurch Park, outside Christchurch Mansion, at about noon, walking through the town to Gippeswyk Park.

So far around �150 has been raised and all money donated to the family will go towards restoring Ashley's caravan, which still sits pride of place on the driveway at the family home in Lavender Hill.

The walk will also help to fund a headstone for Ashley.

To take part in the walk to remember the 15-year-old, meet at the mansion at just before noon.

If you would like to donate please contact Amy Steward, Ashley's sister on 07759411254 or email her at