Thieves target Leeds family’s grave

Adele Rowntree at her family's grave
Adele Rowntree at her family's grave
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A woman has hit out at the thieves who “robbed from the dead” when they raided her family’s grave.

Adele Rowntree, from Bramley, spoke of her anger after lights were snatched from the plot at Hill Top Cemetery in Armley, which contains the remains of her grandfather, grandmother and uncle.

She said: “I’m absolutely disgusted. The things – you can’t call them human beings – who have done this must have something very seriously wrong them.

“We aren’t going to catch them, but the fact is that they have robbed from the dead. It’s my family’s resting place, but they are never forgotten and it’s my place to go and get peace and this has affected that.”

Mrs Rowntree, of Pudsey Road, last visited the grave on February 22, the birthday of her granddad, Earnest Dickinson, who died at the age of 81.

His remains lie alongside those of his wife, Shirley. The plot also contains the ashes of Mrs Rowntree’s uncle, Neil Dickinson.

It was only when Mrs Rowntree, 40, visited again on Sunday, March 23, that she found that a set of lights that had been wrapped around a plant pot had been taken.

She added: “It’s not the first they have targeted the grave. To find that things have been taken from them makes my blood boil.”

Hill Top Cemetery is one of several in the city that has suffered problems with theft and vandalism.

Mrs Rowntree said more should be done to improve security at the site, adding: “I know that they can’t keep the gates locked all the time but I’d just like something to be done.”

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “We endeavour to keep our cemeteries as safe and secure as possible, particularly at night, but are also mindful that they are public open spaces.

“We would ask members of the public to remain vigilant at all times and report anyone who is acting suspiciously to the police.”

Mark Cashin

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