Mother ‘gutted’ as thief caught on CCTV stealing flowers

Mark Gordon and Constance Marten urged to contact police

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A mother was left “sick to her stomach” after a thief was caught on CCTV stealing flowers from her son’s grave. The thief was reportedly seen walking along the roadside in Stockton-on-Tees picking up the bouquets placed on the grave.

A video captured showed 39-year-old Leanne Slater stealing the flowers from Durham Road cemetery in Teesside.

Shocked by the video footage, the mother, Donna Dixon, 45, said it was “appalling to even stoop that low”.

The theft took place just half an hour after the family’s visit.

She said: “It’s not nice to steal anything but from a cemetery it’s just disgusting.

“It was such a kick in the teeth the flowers had only been on his garden for half an hour and it was his 10th memorial.’

Her son, Keiran died suddenly in 2012 and was being visited by family who shared stories and laid the fresh flowers in June last year.

Ms Donna continued: “He was a popular kid so everyone knew where the flowers had come from so we were just absolutely gutted.

“It made me sick to my stomach.

“I understand people have problems but it just leaves you speechless to think people would do that.”

On Wednesday, the thief was found guilty of theft and failing to surrender to police/court bail.

Speaking at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, Keiran’s friend Jessica Hart said she first realised the flowers had been stolen after receiving a Facebook message.

Ms Hart said the message contained a photograph of the defendant carrying two of the floral tributes she left.

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She then received CCTV footage of Slater carrying the items in Stockton.

Prosecutor Anne Mitchell said that Slater was caught soon after the incident.

She said: “Enquiries were made and the location of the female was established.

“Donna Dixon then attended the location and found the defendant and detained her until police arrived.

“She was wearing the same clothing as the female pictured leaving the cemetery with the flowers.”

A warrant has been issued after Leanne Slater failed to attend her trial at Teesside Magistrates’ Court

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