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Thief returns ornamental windmill day after funeral

Jane Stevens with the windmill which had been stolen from her garden
Jane Stevens with the windmill which had been stolen from her garden

by Gerry Warren

A thief has returned an ornamental windmill stolen from a garden in Faversham with a note saying sorry - the day after the owner's funeral.

It had been taken on December 23 from behind Michael and Jane Stevens' home in Mount Field, which backs onto playing fields.

It happened while 62-year-old Mr Stevens, who worked for the Border Agency, was being cared for at the Pilgrims Hospice.

But on Friday, a neighbour found the 4ft high wooden windmill in their front garden covered in a black bin liner and the note pinned to it.

Mrs Stevens, who is advice manager at Faversham Age Concern, said: "It was the day after Michael's funeral and all the family were staying.

"I just couldn't believe it when the neighbour knocked on the door and told me it had been returned.

"Clearly someone had a conscience and brought it back, but had got the wrong garden. But I'm pleased because it was Michael's pride and joy.

"We bought it while on holiday in Norfolk about three years ago and he maintained and varnished it every year to protect it from the elements."

She added: "Apart from a little bit of missing wood, it doesn't seem to have been damaged. Michael would have been delighted to get it back.

"I don't know if it was a coincidence that it was returned when it was, or whether the thief or someone close to them had heard about Michael's death. But it now has even more sentimental value to me."

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