A mum felt “sick to her stomach” after her daughter’s memorial garden was trashed and its centerpiece stolen.
Laura Douglas, 31, of Knowle, built a special garden at her own mum’s house in memory of her daughter Bella Rose, who sadly passed away when she was just five-weeks-old.
But on Monday night (November 29), days before what would have been Bella’s 7th birthday, a light-up unicorn was stolen and the garden trashed in what Laura describes as a horrific “act of vandalism.”
Luckily, the damaged unicorn has since been returned. But Laura is keen to raise awareness of the incident which she says “isn’t the first of its kind” in the area.
“I’ve had a memorial garden now for five years,” said Laura. “We decided to build it after we lost her. We thought it would be something better than her going to the crematorium.
“I saw the unicorn last year and bought it to make the garden nice and pretty.
“But the first night it was there, somebody tried to take it.
“Two nights ago, somebody stole it.”
On Monday night (November 29) the unicorn was stolen along with other items in the garden.
Laura continued: “The garden was trashed. The person who stole it left behind a small blade they used to cut through the wires. We fed all the plugs underneath the fake snow, but they still managed to cut it and take some swans too.
“I was really upset, I was crying all day yesterday. It’s my pride.”
Laura shared the incident on Facebook but after her post was reported, Facebook removed it.
Laura managed to share her post on other platforms, and eventually a neighbour reached out and shared CCTV footage of someone fleeing the memorial garden with the unicorn.
This morning (December 1) the damaged unicorn was dumped outside Laura’s mum’s house.
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Laura is relieved to have the unicorn back, but the incident has had a lasting effect.
“When Bella died, it destroyed me as a person,” she said. “This garden helps me take my mind off everything.
“When I miss her, I go round to her garden and talk to her.
“I bought the unicorn to try and make it nicer for her.”
Laura said she felt “sick to her stomach” after what happened.
She says she will have to find more fake snow and hopes she is able to fix the damaged unicorn.
“It’s broken but hopefully we can still make it work,” she says.