Fresh grief for bereaved siblings as weighty gravestone stolen from St Pancras Cemetery
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 July 2016
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A bereaved Essex Road family is devastated by the theft of the £3,500 marble headstone that had marked their parents’ grave for 13 years.
Angela Barnes told the Gazette she and her siblings broke down in tears after discovering the family grave at St Pancras Cemetery had been desecrated.
The family visited the final resting place of Annette and Samuel Earlington on Father’s Day but returned on July 3 to discover the weighty marker, a 3x3 ft marble slab, had been ripped from the ground. It was placed there back in 2003 in memory of Samuel, who died in 2001. Annette died a decade later and the stone was reinscribed to include her name.
A tearful Angela, 51, said: “We’re just so distraught. This is my mum and dad – we’re still grieving.
“I thought this was somewhere I could pay my respects. I was thinking we could always go there and have somewhere to sit and talk and have our family reunions.
"We’re just so distraught. This is my mum and dad – we’re still grieving. [...] It’s heartbreaking to go and stand there when there’s no headstone."
“We’re a very tight-knit family. It’s heartbreaking to go and stand there when there’s no headstone on my parents’ grave.”
Insult was added to injury when to Angela’s surprise and horror she was told by both the police and the graveyard staff there was no way of tracking down the stone.
She has demanded to know why security staff and cameras at the graveyard – in High Road, East Finchley – were unable to give cops any leads.
Police said a lack of evidence meant they had not been able to make progress with the case, but urged anyone with information to contact them
But the council said it only had cameras trained on the gates of the 200-acre site, and pointed out the stone could have been loaded into a vehicle before being driven away – something that would not have aroused suspicion. There are nine miles of roads running through the complex.
Sofia Allana, head of Islington and Camden cemetery services, said: “We were shocked and saddened to learn that this headstone has gone missing.
“Our cemetery staff cannot remember such a thing happening before.”
Anyone with information about the missing headstone is urged to call police on 101 or ring the cemetery on 020 7527 8300.
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