Leeds family’s woe at theft of treasured pictures of toddler who died in 2008

Dean and Anne-Marie Sanderson with Lucy-Mai, pictured in 2007
Dean and Anne-Marie Sanderson with Lucy-Mai, pictured in 2007
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The parents of a girl who lost her life at the age of just two-and-a-half have been left devastated after treasured photographs of her were stolen in a burglary.

Thieves took a laptop and memory stick from the Garforth home of Dean and Anne-Marie Sanderson in the early hours of Sunday.

The memory stick contained hundreds of pictures of the couple’s daughter Lucy-Mai, who died from an epileptic seizure seven years ago.

Mr Anderson said: “They are the only memories we have of our daughter and they cannot be replaced.

“Without them we’ve lost the only connection we have with her.”

The break-in happened between 2am and 2.30am on Sunday.

CCTV caught a pair or hooded thieves forcing open a window before reaching in to snatch the valuables.

Mr Sanderson added: “They scoped out the property and sussed out where the alarm sensor was.

“They basically just reached in a grabbed what was within arm’s reach.

“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time – I was in the process of backing up all of my data at the time.”

Lucy-Mai had severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy and died in her sleep in 2008.

During her short life, Mr and Mrs Sanderson raised cash for charity and Mr Sanderson recently quit a job as a planning manager for Arla Foods to work full-time for Special Kids in the UK, a charity which supported the family while Lucy-Mai was still alive.

Last year they launched an appeal in Lucy-Mai’s name to raise money for adapted static caravans across the UK to provide subsidised holidays to families who have a child with a disability.

The laptop that was stolen in the burglary contained vital information about Mr Sanderson’s charity work.

He said: “The kit itself can be replaced, it’s what is on it that’s important to us.”

He appealed for the safe return of the pictures, saying: “We just want them back. We’re not bothered about anything other than that.

“Please, if you have them anything, have a heart.”

Stolen were a Macbook Pro 15 in a clear plastic housing and a white, 1TB Toshiba white portable hard drive.

Police have dusted the house for fingerprints and are appealing for information.

Anyone who can help should call the Leeds Outer East neighbourhood policing team via 101.