Woman's gold ring stolen as she lay dying in Canterbury's Pilgrim's Hospice
Dying patient Wendy
Dolton, whose ring was stolen, with son Sean
A gold ring has been stolen from the finger of a dying patient
at Canterbury's Pilgrim's Hospice.
The hugely sentimental band was swiped from Wendy Dolton just
hours before she died at the London Road home.
It had been given to her by her late husband 10 years
The ring, which had a large square diamond and is pictured below
right, was stolen between 6pm on Wednesday, February 13, and 6pm on
Mrs Dolton, who had just turned 65, died on the Thursday
Her son Sean, 46, told of his disgust after learning
of the theft from his mother, from Dover.
He said: "I feel absolutely sick because the ring was a 40th
wedding anniversary present from my father who knew he was going to
die in the next few months.
"Sentimentally it doesn't get any more distressing.
"It is the most vile and despicable crime that someone would
come into her room where she was being cared for and take the ring
from her finger.
"I remember seeing her wearing it just hours before and can't
believe someone stole it from her in those last few hours.
"She was totally violated when she was at her weakest.
"It was horrendous we lost my mum at 5pm and were in the hospice
until midnight trying to get to the bottom of where it had
"It is difficult enough to deal with losing her so tragically,
but to know how and when it was taken is very difficult."
Mrs Dolton leaves behind two sons, four grandchildren and two
PC Chris Poulter, who is investigating the theft, said: "The
theft of the ring has caused a great deal of upset for Wendy's
family at a time when they are already trying to cope with her sad
"Pilgrim's Hospice has been fully co-operative and our
"We have already visited some second-hand shops and will
continue to make enquiries."
Chief executive of Pilgrims Hospices Steve Auty said: "We are
all shocked and saddened by this whole episode.
"Pilgrims Hospices is co-operating fully with the police and I
am leading our own internal investigation.
"It is the most vile and despicable crime that someone would come into her room where she was being cared for and take the ring from her finger..." – Sean Dolton
"We are not aware of an incident like this occurring in our
three hospices at any time in our 30-plus years history.
"Clearly it is not a situation that we want to occur in our
hospices and especially not at such a difficult time for the family
"Mrs Dolton's family are, understandably, deeply upset by what
"I have spoken at length with Mrs Dolton's son, Sean, and
assured him we are doing whatever we can to find out what
"We have no evidence to suggest any members of staff are
"Patients and families receive love and care from our staff and
volunteers when staying with us.
"That remains our primary focus which we are able to deliver
because of the outstanding level of support we get from the people
of east Kent."
Anyone who knows where the ring is or has any information about
the theft should call 101 - quoting crime reference ZY/4459/13 - or
Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
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