The parents of a baby who died from meningitis have been left devastated after her grave was targeted by thieves – again.
Paul Cartwright, from Moor Nook, had visited the resting place of his daughter Caitlin Hope every day, but discovered lights he had put up had been stolen and ornaments smashed.
I go regularly, I used to go four times a day, but I started slowing down because every time I went there were things missing or broken.Paul Cartwright
The grave, in Preston Cemetery, was targeted several years ago, and it appears thieves struck again this weekend.
Paul, 49, said: “About two months ago I bought new lights, and on Monday we found all the lights had gone.
“Caitlin Hope died of meningitis, it would have been her ninth birthday coming up.
“She was five months old when she died, and she would be nine in two months.
“I go regularly, I used to go four times a day, but I started slowing down because every time I went there were things missing or broken.
“I started going again this last 12 months, and it’s happening again.
Paul said he no longer liked visiting the grave, because trinkets kept going missing.
He said: “It’s really upsetting and it puts you off going. I want to make it as nice as I can.
“I just want anyone who knows anything, to come forward. I don’t think it’s kids this time, I think it’s somebody doing their garden up because, this time, they even took the stands that the lights fit in.”
Caitlin’s mum Claire Aspinall, 42, said: “It makes me so angry. Something needs to be done, it’s not the first time.”
Tragically, Claire lost another daughter, Allyssa, to cot death in 2010, and she is also in Preston Cemetery.
She said: “I’ve got my dad’s grave here as well, it’s a place to go to remember them and I like to put things on the graves, but I’m scared to because they just get stolen.
“It bewilders me that somebody can take something off a child’s grave.”
A Preston Council spokesman said: “The cemetery is a public place where people can pay their respects to loved ones. It’s very unfortunate when something like this happens and we have real sympathy. It’s hard to believe some people don’t have the respect for graves and the items left on them. Although the cemetery is locked at night it isn’t impenetrable.”