Tyne & Wear

Bird bath thief's apology note to 'devastated' owner

Apology note Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption The note, written on a piece of cardboard, was left on the doorstep

A thief who stole a bird bath from a garden in Newcastle returned to the scene to leave an apology note.

The theft of the large stone ornament from the Kingston Park area left the 82-year-old owner devastated, as it was a present from her late husband and was her "pride and joy".

Following an appeal by police, a few days later a note written on a piece of cardboard was left on the doorstep.

It read: "I am so very sorry... when I can afford to, I will replace it."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "It is clear that the offender feels guilty about his actions and I would urge him to come forward and contact police so we can reunite the bird bath with its owner.

"Similarly, if you have recently received a birthday present that matches the description of the bird bath taken from this vulnerable victim's garden then please get in touch."

'Empty spot'

The letter read: "I am so very sorry. I wouldn't in a million years have done this but I had to.

"It is my mother's birthday and I am in a very bad place. I can't afford a birthday present and she doesn't know how bad it is.

"With deep regrets, sorry. This is all I can think of I am so very sorry. When I can afford it I will replace it."

The woman wrote a letter in response, which read: "I loved watching the antics of the birds in my bird bath and the birds are missing it too.

"Yesterday a pair of collared doves who are daily visitors just sat on the fence facing the empty spot for over an hour.

"It was bought 25 years ago by my husband who is now deceased.

"We were married for 53 years. A new bird bath won't ever replace it."

She told BBC Newcastle: "Poor soul... what sort of state is he in if he is being driven to steal?".

The bird bath is described as three foot tall, stone in a Pompeii ash colour, with a wide basin at the top and an acanthus leaf pattern up the stem.

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