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Grieving family say thieves who stole father's funeral flowers from Kent and Sussex Crematorium in Tunbridge Wells are 'lowest of the low'


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A grieving family who had to say goodbye to their father, husband and grandad have called thieves who stole his funeral flowers 'the lowest of the low.'

Family-man David Coutts from Southborough was laid to rest at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium. He passed away last month aged 74 from pneumonia.

David Coutts from Southborough was laid to rest earlier this month
David Coutts from Southborough was laid to rest earlier this month

After the ceremony on July 20, the flowers were placed in the crematorium's viewing area, but when Mr Coutts' daughter Sharon, 50, went to visit for the second time the following day, she noticed they, along with others were missing.

Her husband Barry Swift, 54 explains: "At about half past nine in the morning, my wife went back to look at the flowers. They were all there.

"She then went back home before going back again with her daughter and noticed one saying 'Grandad', another saying 'Dad' and two hearts had gone."

Others from a service before, also spelling the same words, were missing.

At first Mrs Swift thought members of staff may have moved them to another location but she soon found out this was not the case.

Flowers spelling Grandad and Dad were taken
Flowers spelling Grandad and Dad were taken

Mr Swift added: "The office manager said they stay there for at least a week and no-one else would have touched them.

"My wife was in tears. She went through the loss, and the funeral, only for someone to come by and steal her dad's flowers.

"It's just the lowest of the low that someone would do this.

"I'd like to think that somebody about to bury a relative wouldn't steal somebody else's flowers. I think it's someone trying to make a bit of money on the side selling them on because they were still fresh."

It's estimated the flowers taken cost between £500 and £600.

Two hearts were also reported missing
Two hearts were also reported missing

Mr Swift, a police officer, says this is the first time he has ever heard of this happening and wants to share his family's experience to raise awareness and show the thief their crime had not gone unnoticed.

Mr Coutt's leaves behind his wife of more than 50 years, Pat, daughter Sharon, three grandchildren, two step grandchildren, four great grandchildren and one step grandchild.

A spokesperson for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: "We were very sorry to learn that the flowers placed in memory of Mr Coutts appear to have been stolen. It is difficult to imagine what would motivate someone to do this and cause further distress to relatives who are grieving.

"If anyone has any information we would urge them to contact the police."

Kent Police says: "Kent Police was called regarding a report that a quantity of flowers had been stolen at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium, between midday and 4pm on July 21."

Anybody with information that may assist the investigation is urged to call 01622 604100, quoting reference number 46/129347/21.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells

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