Ipswich: Community hits out after thieves pinch money for brave tot

A COMMUNITY today hit out after thieves stole money raised for a three-year-old girl who died just a week after the crime was committed.

Police have today issued an appeal for witnesses after a collection pot containing about �80 was stolen from Palmers Bakery in Meredith Road on October 13.

The money was being raised for courageous tot Jaymie-Leigh Ring, who lost her battle with cancer last Monday, after more than a year of fighting a rare form of the disease.

She was diagnosed with Pleuropulmonary Blastoma (PBB) last September, but her beaming smile never faded despite months of treatments, palliative care and hospital visits.

Today, her grandmother Leisa Driver, who lives in Whitton Church Lane, branded the crime “unbelievable” and said the community had been shocked that thieves could pinch a charity box.

“The collection pot carried a picture of Jaymie’s face and had been in the bakery because the community was wanting to raise money for Jaymie,” she said.

“We didn’t really know about it because it was something the community wanted to do for her which is really nice.

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“I think it is so unbelievable that anyone could steal a charity box.”

Thieves smashed two of the windows before entering the bakery. While inside they also took sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks.

Police believe the incident took place between 1.30am and 7.30am on October 13.

Tina Smith, a sales assistant at Palmers Bakery, said she was “beyond angry” after the cash was taken.

“We were never planning on raising money for her funeral. The community was raising money to take Jaymie-Leigh and her family on a nice day out.

“We wanted to give her a limousine for the day and spoil her.

“The thieves were very picky about what they took – certain flavours of crisps and drinks and chocolate.

“We had four charity boxes in the bakery but they took the one with the most money in it.

“I think we had about �80 inside the box. The people who did it have no morals and it is such a low thing to do. It’s disgusting.

“But we have a new box out there now and the community has continued to raise money, now in memory of Jaymie.

“We have raised more than �1,000 and we are now raising money for Jaymie’s headstone.”

A police spokeswoman said investigations into the burglary were ongoing.

She asked witnesses and anyone with information to contact Pc Joseph Burr at Ipswich police station on 101 quoting reference IW/12/4080. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


Touching tributes have been paid to brave and inspirational Jaymie – who “smiled her way through her illness”.

Her grandmother Leisa Driver said: “She was always the centre of attention and she was the most caring child. She loved princesses, she was obsessed with them. She always put everyone else before herself, and she was always concerned about how her mum (Liana) was feeling.

“She never reflected her condition, despite how poorly she was. She was always happy and smiling. She smiled her way through her illness.

“Now Liana wants to raise money for children who are unfortunate enough to be going through similar things to Jaymie.”

Jaymie-Leigh first appeared in The Ipswich Star when she welcomed players from Ipswich Town Football Club to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. She also invited The Star to her princess party which was held at the hospice at the end of last year.

Jaymie-Leigh’s funeral will be held at 11am on November 6 at St Mary’s Church in Whitton Church Lane. Her family will follow a glass carriage pulled by two white horses along the road.

If you would like to donate money in Jaymie-Leigh’s memory a charity box can be found in Palmers Bakery in Meredith Road.