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Grieving couple's anger as cross is snatched from baby’s grave

Stephanie Smith and Alex Taylor-Manifold have hit out at the heartless thieves who stole a wooden cross from his grave

Stephanie Smith and Alex Taylor-Manifold at their son Joshua’s grave
Stephanie Smith and Alex Taylor-Manifold at their son Joshua’s grave

A grieving couple whose baby boy was stillborn have hit out at the heartless thieves who stole a wooden cross from his grave.

Stephanie Smith and Alex Taylor-Manifold say they are still coming to terms with losing baby Joshua, who died on December 17 last year, two weeks before his due date.

The couple say they erected a cross above his tiny grave as they are can’t afford a grave stone.

But they were horrified to discover the cross had been stolen.

Stephanie, 21, said: “Some absolutely horrible person has just gone off and taken it.

“It’s bad enough losing him, never mind someone taking his cross. I don’t feel like he’s safe there any more, it’s a horrible feeling.

“Alex and I like to visit the grave together but now I feel like I have to go every single day on my own just to make sure he’s ok.”

She added: “It’s just mindless vandalism – what would anyone do with a cross from a baby’s grave?

“I just want to find out who is responsible and let them know how much distress this has caused us.”

Stephanie, who lives with farm worker Alex, 19, on Brooke Street, added: “I rang up the police but they can’t do anything about it. There is no CCTV and no one saw anything. Hopefully whoever is responsible will come to their senses and return it. That’s all we want.”

The mahogany-coloured cross, which was made by Joshua’s grandad, is about 2ft high and bears a gold plaque with Joshua’s name on it.

Stephanie added: “We were saving up for a headstone but who knows what we are going to do now.”

Insp Steve Griffiths, of Cheshire police, said: “To go through the trauma of losing a child and then having the cross taken from their baby’s grave must be making such a painful time even more difficult.

“Our thoughts are with them at this sensitive time. We are making enquiries and would ask anyone with information to contact police.”

The cross was taken sometime between Thursday, April 25, and Saturday, April 27.

Anyone with information should contact Macclesfield neighbourhood policing unit on 101 quoting occurrence number 0713114714. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

 

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