A heartbroken widow has hit out at thieves who stole a memorial tree planted in memory of her husband who lost his battle with cancer.
Former scout leader David Rollett had given over 40 years voluntary service at Cookridge Village Scouts.
And following his death Mr Rollett’s family decided to plant a special tree in his memory in the grounds of the scout headquarters, on Pinfold Lane, in Cookridge, Leeds.
But his granddaughter Nicole, 11, discovered the theft when she went to refill a bird feeder which she had purchased as a special present to her grandfather.
Widow Christine said: “He was such a loved and respected man.
“I just can’t believe that this has happened.
“What upset me more was the fact we had his ashes put underneath the tree.
“Whoever took the tree even filled the hole in.
“I just think that maybe they didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t realise the significance of the tree.
“I’m just saddened about what has happened and I would just like whoever did this to bring the tree back.”
The family decided to plant the special tree in memory of Mr Rollett, 73, following his battle with lung cancer two years ago.
Mr Rollett’s son Tim is currently a scout leader at the site and his granddaughter Nicole is also a scout.
Mrs Rollett added: “David spent a lot of his time at the scout hut and he was just so well thought of.
“He was just so committed to the scouts and that is why we decided to plant the tree there in his memory.
“Lots of people used to visit that tree.
“It was planted right in the corner of the ground at the back of the scout hut so I think it must be someone who has walked in the ground near to the back to see it.
“We just can’t believe that someone has stolen it and we are all extremely upset about what has happened.”