Grandad’s ashes stolen in burglary

Brenda Riley and her daughter Claire Wynn who had her grandad John Clarkson's ashes stolen during a burglary.
Brenda Riley and her daughter Claire Wynn who had her grandad John Clarkson's ashes stolen during a burglary.

A mum is offering a reward for the safe return of her grandad’s ashes which were stolen from her home while she was on holiday with her family.

Burglars took the ashes during the break-in at Claire Wynn’s home in Brownhill Avenue, Burnley, last Friday, just two days before she returned from a 10-day break in Turkey.

Ashes casket

Ashes casket

The ashes of her grandfather, Mr John Clarkson, who died two days after his 91st birthday in January, were kept inside a specially made wooden casket which has an inscribed plaque on it and a family photograph.

Claire, and her mum, Mrs Brenda Riley, who lives in Oakeneaves Avenue, are now hoping that by offering the reward the ashes may be returned to them.

Claire said: “We hope that someone may know where the ashes are and a reward will be incentive enough for them to hand them in. They don’t mean anything to anyone else but they mean the world to us as we are such a close family.

“The casket they are in was specially made for people who wish to keep their relative’s ashes. It is obvious what they are to anyone. We were planning to get another casket so my mum could keep some of the ashes too.

“This has left us all devastated.’’

The raiders broke into Claire’s home in broad daylight at around 4-30pm last Friday.

They forced open a window at the rear of the house and helped themselves to a haul of items including an X-Box and DVD players. A couple of neighbours spotted a light on in the property but thought the family may have returned home.

Claire, who lives with her partner, Kevin Anderson, and two children, Jordan (16) and four-year-old Lily-Rose, added: “The other items can be replaced but we can’t replace the ashes. All we want is for my grandad’s ashes to be returned to us where they belong.’’

Anyone who has information about the missing ashes is asked to ring 101. PC Rawlinson is dealing with the case. Or you can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The reward will be given for information leading to the safe return of the ashes.