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Items taken from child's grave at Chatham Cemetery

A mother from Chatham has been left heartbroken after items were taken from her son's gravestone.

Lydia Hope's child Finley John was stillborn in 2012.

Items on Finley John Hope Freeman's grave have been removed and tampered with (21996824)
Items on Finley John Hope Freeman's grave have been removed and tampered with (21996824)

Since then, she has tried to visit his grave at Chatham Cemetery, Maidstone Road, on a daily basis.

However, recently she's noticed when she puts items on his grave, they are taken away.

The 27-year-old said: "I wish I could put stuff on there but I can’t because someone keeps taking all his stuff off.

"There are some sick people out there. His plaque has gone, his teddy, his cards and much more. I didn’t know what to think.

"It has happened a few times. When I go and check it’s gone, it’s so heartbreaking."

Mum Lydia Hope is devastated(21996826)
Mum Lydia Hope is devastated(21996826)

The cemetery is run by Medway Council.

The authority has confirmed it does not remove items from graves unless they have been made of glass due to health and safety reasons.

It is customary for some churches to remove items from gravestones to keep the cemetery tidy.

Miss Hope, of Otway Street, Chatham, posted about her heartache on Facebook.

Many other mothers replied with similar stories about experiences across the Towns, including Woodlands and Rochester.

Mum Aimee Knight also experienced items being taken and broken from her daughter's grave at Woodlands but is determined to stay strong.

"There are some sick people out there. His plaque has gone, his teddy, his cards and much more... it's so heartbreaking" - Lydia Hope

She said: "I won't let them ruin the only thing I can do for her now - that is ensuring her grave looks nice, other than ensuring her name is still spoken.

"Don’t let them take that away from you.

"Love will always win over hate.

"I will always decorate her grave and I wanted Lydia to never give up doing that.

"We've already been robbed of our babies we can’t give up on doing the only thing left we can for them."

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