A NEPHEW said his late uncle's final wishes have been 'stolen' after an urn containing his ashes was taken during a burglary.

Mark Sanderson lost his uncle Dennis Sanderson last November during lockdown and due to restrictions the family were denied a proper funeral.

In what the family believe to have been an opportunist burglary, thieves stole Dennis’s urn and some tools from an outhouse at the family's home in Hapton at some point last week.

The family believe the thieves had no intention of taking the urn and believe they may have mistook it for something else, but Mark said it is horrible to think that it may have been discarded without any consideration.

He said: “There’s just that part of me that just wants to respect his wishes.

“We wanted to commemorate his life somewhere he loved and that was stolen from us.”

Mark and his brother Howard were planning on holding an event to allow friends and family to pay their respects before carrying out their late uncle's final wishes of scattering his ashes at his favourite holiday destination, Morecambe beach.

Mark added: “At the time of his death it was very hard. He was in a care home in Briercliffe and because of Covid we were unable to see him in his final days.

“That was almost a year ago now and it was exceptionally difficult as we had grown quite close as I helped to deal with his care.”

Dennis, who Mark described as having a real Lancashire soul, was born in Bacup and would holiday in Blackpool and Morecambe.

He rarely left the county other than for Mark’s wedding in Berkshire and spent his final days in Oaklands Nursing Home, Briercliffe.

Mark is now asking that anyone who may know anything about the whereabouts of his uncle's ashes to return them to him to allow them to carry out his final wishes.