A FAMILY is upset over a loved one’s grave ornaments being stolen numerous times.

Fay Jones and her family in Darwen have been suffering stress and grief since David Critchley’s grave at Darwen cemetery has had little trinkets stolen since May.

Some of the things stolen include a solar-powered windmill.

The family have put out an appeal on Facebook for the various stolen items but are not hopeful of getting them back.

Mrs Jones said: “He passed away on November 23 from sepsis and a suspected blood clot, and was buried in December, and we have been putting little bits there like his children’s names and little ornaments, but they have been pinched.

“It started off with little trinkets being taken and then they stole a small windmill my mum put there a few days ago.

“We asked the cemetery if they had seen anything and they did not know anything about it, but said a few people had reported the same thing.”

Mr Critchley contracted sepsis two years ago when he was 39, and had his leg amputated as a result.

He was back in hospital last year to have his toes on his other foot removed as the sepsis had returned.

The following morning at 7am when the nurse went to see him, he was laughing and talking, but whern he was checkon on at 7.25, he did not wake up.

Mrs Jones said: “We were all shocked because it was sudden and we didn’t expect it.

“We are not even over the fact he is gone and are just trying to make his resting place nicer.

“He was an outgoing kind of guy and when it started, he lost a lot of weight and was okay with losing a leg because he said he would rather lose a leg than his life.”

Mr Critchley left his wife and two children now aged 13 and 19.

Mrs Jones said: “They have struggled to come to terms with all this and are upset this is happening to his grave.

“He ran both a pub and a pet shop before his diabetes saw him take some time out.

“He was always smiling, nothing got to him and he always seemed to be in a good mood, he was an outgoing and a fun-loving guy."

The family think there needs to be some CCTV installed to help stop the thefts from happening again.

Cllr Kevin Connor, representing Darwen South, said: “What a terrible thing to happen, especially at a time like this.

“It really beggars belief when you are going through all this and you have someone stealing from graves.

“CCTV would help if the cemetery could install it."