Grieving Meir mum Denise Holmes: 'Don't steal my dead daughter's memorial plants'
GRIEVING mum Denise Holmes has put up a sign begging thieves to stop desecrating her late daughter's memorial garden.
The heartless intruders have repeatedly snatched bedding plants from the plot in the grounds of her home which was created as a tribute to her daughter Samantha Holmes.
The 33-year-old, of Meir, died from a brain tumour in February 2011.
Mrs Holmes has decided to install a sign pleading with the thieves to stop tearing up the garden, which she created at her home just four months ago.
And she has directly appealed to the thievess to return any plants already stolen 'if you have a heart'.
Mrs Holmes of, Buccleuch Road, Normacot, says the stolen items have included a handful of red Carnations and pink Fuchsia plants.
She said: "It is heartbreaking. I started planting these flowers because I wanted a place I could go to remember my daughter.
"Everyone kept saying how nice it was starting to look and I had already planted some seeds ready for next year.
"But now there are just big holes in the soil where they used to be.
"It has happened quite a few times. Every time I plant replacement flowers they go missing. It always happens at night so I don't know who it is. What kind of person would do this?"
Mrs Holmes and her boyfriend, Brian Palmer, said a fern tree has also been targeted.
The grandmother-of-ten added: "The tree was pulled up and just left. It has actually died now.
"I have a wooden cross I want to put in to finish off the garden but I daren't put it in because I'm worried it will be stolen too.
"All I can think is that whoever has done this has taken them for their own garden because we looked up and down the street and couldn't see any soil on the floor, so the plants haven't been dumped anywhere."
The pair have spoken to staff at the Westfield Children's Centre, opposite Mrs Holmes' home, to see if the building's CCTV cameras could identify the culprits.
But Mrs Holmes said: "They said the camera doesn't go that far so we will never know who did it.
"I don't want to let these people beat me, but it takes time and money to keep replacing the plants.
"The people who did this mustn't have hearts. It is just devastating. It is as bad as someone stealing flowers from a grave."
Forty nine-year-old Mr Palmer, said: "I've heard of people stealing hanging baskets but never bedding plants. And never out of somebody's garden.
"The only reason they didn't take the rose bushes was because they would hurt their hands on the thorns.
"I have been for a walk to see if I could find out more but I couldn't find anything out.
"Nobody saw anything and I can't find the plants anywhere."