Mystery thieves target Llandudno family's memorial bench

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

A GRIEVING daughter has been left “hurt” after treasured items such as flowers, poems and balloons left on a bench in memory of her mother were taken by cruel thieves.

Lauren Fearnhead, 25, who lost her mother Karen Fearnhead in 2013 following a battle with cancer, said items have been going missing from the memorial bench – located on the promenade in Llandudno opposite the Dorchester, Craig Y Don Parade – for about two years.

Callous thieves have even gone to efforts of cutting cable ties which were securing poems and creating a ‘fake letter’ from Conwy County Borough Council asking the family not to put anything on the bench.

Karen was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. This was the second time she had battled cancer. She died aged 50.

Lauren, from Llandudno, who has an older brother Daniel, 29, and father Andrew, said: “We would place flowers on the bench at times such as her birthday, the anniversary of her death, Christmas and for Mother's Day. My dad also places a wreath on there every Christmas. We keep it tidy; my grandma would often go across and remove flowers once they had died.

"Things started going missing off the bench about two years ago. At first we put it down to bad luck but it kept happening. Flowers would get taken, along with the plastic holders. Poems got taken which were tied on with cable ties. I placed a balloon on for my mum's birthday (May 20) and that got taken within two days. This was also tied on very tightly so would have had to be cut off with scissors.”

Lauren added that things have got so bad, that a decision was made not to place more flowers - purchased for Karen's birthday by Lauren's three aunties and grandma - on the bench.

"We knew it was likely they would get taken,” Lauren said.

“This is incredibly hurtful to my family. The bench is somewhere we can go to honour mum's memory or even somewhere to just go and sit to feel close to her.

”We are not causing any trouble, we are simply trying to celebrate and remember someone who meant the world to us.”

A spokesperson from Conwy County Borough Council said: We appreciate this is an extremely sensitive and emotive issue, and as such we advise families and friends not to leave flowers or tributes on memorial benches."

Anyone with information or witnesses any suspicious activity around the bench is asked to telephone North Wales Police on 101. 

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