Family stunned by bizarre theft from cemetery

St Mary's Cemetery, Lanark. where the  recent theft took place.
St Mary's Cemetery, Lanark. where the recent theft took place.

A visit to her mother’s grave in Lanark’s St Mary’s Cemetery left a woman upset, outraged - and mystified.

For, at the last resting place of her mum, she discovered the graveside had been plundered overnight, not of the usual flowers and small tributes pilfered from graves, but a large, very heavy stone seating bench!

A still shocked Elizabeth Shields, a Carstairs resident, contacted the Gazette just hours after discovering the heartless theft which she believes must have taken place between late last Tuesday afternoon and early last Wednesday afternoon.

“I just couldn’t believe it when I went to mum’s grave and saw the bench gone.

“I had visited the cemetery the day before and it was still there then so someone must have taken it away overnight.

“Why and how they did it, I don’t know but it’s an absolutely dreadful thing to do and it’s caused a lot of upset.”

She went on to explain that the theft dealth a double emotional blow to her family.

Not only was the bench placed in St Mary’s in memory of her mum Agnes Scott, a resident of Lanark’s Smyllum area and St Mary’s parishoner who died five years ago at the age of only 65 but it had been placed there as a very personal gift and tribute by another one of her daughters, Agnes Derryman who now lives in New Zealand.

She had bought the bench from a Dobbies garden centre for £170 and had it placed at the foot of her mum’s grave so that family members could sit during visits to reflect on Agnes’ life and loss.

Added Elizabeth: “It must have taken quite an effort to lift and take away the bench; perhaps it’s already in someone’s garden somewhere!”

She urged anyone with information on the theft to contact the police on 101.