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Appeal for treasured photograph

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

Karl Byatt with his wife-to-be Caroline Henderson, who is holding the Order of Service programme from her grandmother's funeral - the only copy she now has of her nan's photograph.

Karl Byatt with his wife-to-be Caroline Henderson, who is holding the Order of Service programme from her grandmother's funeral - the only copy she now has of her nan's photograph.

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A MUM-OF-TWO is appealing for burglars who broke into her house to return a treasured photograph.

Caroline Henderson, aged 37, and her family were asleep when their house, in Buxton Road, Leek, was raided in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Among the items taken was a photograph of her late grandmother.

The culprits had opened the gate in the back yard of the house before entering an outer unlocked door to get to the locked back door.

It is believed that they picked that lock to get into the building, before then creeping past one of the downstairs bedrooms, where Caroline's grandad had been sleeping for the night, to get to the kitchen.

Caroline said: "I went in the kitchen and saw that there was things missing like the laptop computer, two of my handbags and my partner's Nokia mobile phone."

One of Caroline's handbags was beige in colour and the other was red with pictures of Marilyn Monroe on it.

Caroline, who is mum to 19-year-old Nathan and 15-year-old Chelsey, said: "I had just over £200 in one of the handbags as my partner Karl and I had previously gone to the bank to draw out our rent money.

"My bank card was also in one of the bags. But what I really want back is a picture I had of my late Nan, Freda Howells.

"She passed away in October 2011, and I only had the one picture of her. We used it for her Order of Service at her funeral.

"The photo was in a little wallet - the kind you put a bank card in.

"It was in the side pocket of my handbag with a little blue bingo pen I use.

"It has devastated me because I was very close to my Nan and that was the only photograph I had of her."

Friends and family have been out searching the area looking for any of the items which may have been dumped and on the afternoon of New Year's Day, Caroline's daughter and her boyfriend found the Toshiba Laptop covered in leaves in the alleyway by Asda, and the hand-bag in a bush by Asda.

Caroline said: "I am happy that the laptop has been found as it had a lot of other family photos on it. However, the handbag was completely empty when they found it. The picture of my nan was gone."

The family also later realised that a men's 'Voy' grey jumper had been taken from their house along with a pair of Tom Baker shoes.

Caroline said: "I'm normally a very confident person, but I fear staying in on my own in our house now, especially at night.

"We only moved in here five weeks ago. Karl and I are getting married in July, and moving in here was all part of a our new life together, but now I feel that it is all tainted."

Caroline's partner Karl Byatt, aged 34, said: "Caroline is finding this hard and hasn't been sleeping properly. I have said that we can move again if she likes but she said that she won't let the scumbags drive us out."

Caroline added: "I feel scared at the moment - I feel like I am a prisoner in my own home.

"I am a nervous wreck and am forever checking that the back door is locked.

"I just want the photo of my Nan back. I don't care if someone drops it through our door anonymously."

Police have confirmed that the burglary has been reported to them and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone who may have further information is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101.

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