Callous thieves steal memorial

Date
Published in
Milton Keynes Today website (UK)

A heartbroken family yesterday appealed for the return of a bench taken from a memorial garden for a seven year-old boy. The bench, which was placed at Joshua's Garden, a tribute to Joshua Collins at Glastonbury Thorn School, in Shenley Church End, was cemented in place on Saturday ahead of the official opening by 80s pop star Kim Wilde yesterday.
But by Monday morning it was gone.
"We still miss him," said his grandfather Terry Collins at the school yesterday.
"It was our tribute to him. We all had our thoughts put on it, and that was what made it so special. "We think this garden is an honour to Joshua's memory and then someone does this - I can't believe how low people can go."
Joshua died three days after an operation to remove his tonsils at Milton Keynes General Hospital in December 2003. He was described as a 'wonderful boy' in tributes made to the Citizen at the time. Family carvings on the bench included one saying simply, 'Our little star'. Plants were also uprooted in the attack.
"It's sick," said Joshua's aunt Donna Moore."It was a tribute to a little boy who has lost his life." The family say they will replace the bench if the original is not found, and have planned a raffle to raise funds.
Anyone who may have found the bench can contact the family via Lee MacGregor at the Citizen newsdesk on MK 651295. lee.Macgregor@mkcitizen.co.uk