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Gardener's pride and joy stolen

PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

THEIVES have left an Ipswich gardener upset and angry today after ruining her dreams of setting up a small business.

Pamela Cater, 45, was preparing to hang a sign welcoming people to the front garden of her home in Hayhill Road when her husband, Leslie, made the discovery.

THEIVES have left an Ipswich gardener upset and angry today after ruining her dreams of setting up a small business.

Pamela Cater, 45, was preparing to hang a sign welcoming people to the front garden of her home in Hayhill Road when her husband, Leslie, made the discovery. Thieves had stolen a small greenhouse containing plants valued at more than £400.

She said: "I just can't understand what wicked and evil people would do this. It's a senseless waste. There were plants in there for other people's gardens."

The three-tier metal-framed polythene greenhouse was Mrs Cater's pride and joy and was also loved by her two-year-old granddaughter, Shannon. It contained 200 sunflower seedlings, which Mrs Cater planned to sell, and some tomato plants given to her by her brother.

The former jewellery sales assistant has been off work for the last two months suffering from a viral throat infection. Her vocal chords have been damaged leaving her unable to speak. As she does not get sick pay she was planning to generate a small income from her hobby. Her business was going to be called Pam's Pots and Plants.

Her husband, a car technician, said: "It's quite remarkable how they managed to take the greenhouse without making any noise. It was quite heavy, certainly one person would not have been able to lift it on their own.

"Whoever it was must have seen it before and planned how to steal it. If it was taken as a prank it would be nice to see it returned.

"My wife is very upset as she takes great pleasure from her gardening. Because of her illness she can't voice her anger in the way that she wants to. "She has a reputation among friends and family for being able to heal sick plants and helps out neighbours and people at the allotments nearby.

"It's the personal loss that matters not the money. Pam has lost part of her that won't come back."

Now Mrs Cater's pretty hanging baskets and other plants have been moved out of her sunlit south-facing front garden for fear of them going missing.

The greenhouse will be replaced and metal clamps fitted to secure it instead of string that stopped the original blowing away. Mrs Cater has vowed to start again to continue with her business venture.

The theft is believed to have occurred between 1am and 5am on Saturday.

Anyone with any information should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

N What do you think of this crime? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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