Kent

Mother's sadness over stolen Tunbridge Wells statue

Stolen statue Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption The £10,000 bronze artwork was taken from a memorial garden

The mother of a baby who was stillborn 18 years ago said it was "heartbreaking" a statue made in memory of babies had been stolen.

The £10,000 bronze artwork was taken from a memorial garden at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium in Tunbridge Wells.

It had been donated by the Stillbirth and Neo-Natal Death Society, which supports bereaved parents and families.

Louise Ellis, who visits the garden to remember her daughter Joanna, said it always brought a smile to her face.

She said the garden felt empty without the statue.

"It's heartbreaking to see it gone - we're all extremely upset," she said.

"It's such a special place and the thieves that stole it must know that.

"They must know how special it is to us and all the other bereaved parents that are local to Tunbridge Wells."

The statue was stolen between 1 and 4 May.

Ch Insp Dave Pate said: "The theft of this statue is simply despicable and it clearly only adds to the distress of grieving parents.

"I would urge anyone with information about this statue to think about what this means to parents who have lost their children."

He urged the thieves to "do the right thing and get in touch".

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