‘How could you be so cruel?’
That was Kim Jump’s heartfelt message after vandals desecrated the grave of her tiny daughter Esmee Battersby.
Esmee weighed 1lb 4oz when she was born four months prematurely on December 24 last year and died two hours later.
Her twin brother, Bobby Battersby, defied the odds to survive and now weighs 13lbs. However Kim says she’s devastated after thieves ran amok at Chorley Cemetery on Southport Road and stole precious keepsakes from Esmee’s grave.
They also stole solar panelled lights from other graves and brave Kim has spoken out to warn other families. When she visited last Thursday, she found a flower pot and figure had been taken.
The 23-year-old said: “It is disgraceful and don’t know how you could steal from anyone never mind a grave.
“I feel like I cannot buy anything else to put on her grave especially if these thieves just keep coming back.
“All we wanted was her grave to look pretty with these ornaments but they have taken that away from us now.
“I thought that someone might have an agenda against me but it has happened to other people.
“I just don’t know who would want to come into a cemetery during the days or even break in during the night and do this.
“I had got a plaque for the grave and it looked like I was starting to get everything sorted then this happens.
“It is bad enough that parents are mourning the loss of children without some thieves stealing from the graves.”
The past nine months have been difficult for the Battersby family as Kim has been keeping a bedside vigil bedside for surviving twin Bobby.
He only left the Royal Preston Hospital in June after being born weighing just 1lb 11oz.
She said: “Bobby is doing alright now and he went for some eye tests earlier this week because he was premature.
“We brought him home on Father’s Day which was a great present for his dad.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “It’s a heartless crime and we’d urge anyone with information to contact us.”
Coun Eric Bell, who is responsible for the cemeteries at Chorley Council, said: “We sympathise with the family and we hope whoever has taken the items realises the upset they have caused.
“Thefts from the cemetery do occur but they are very few and far between.”