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14th Dec 2017

Irish mum ‘devastated’ after thieves steal her baby girl’s ashes

They didn't take anything else from her home.

Jade Hayden


An Irish woman was left “devastated” after thieves entered her home and stole her baby’s ashes.

Belfast mum, Claire Smallwood, had her home broken into earlier this week.

She later discovered that the ashes of her baby, Holly, had been stolen from beside her bed.

Nothing else had been taken from the house.

Claire told the BBC that realising her daughter’s ashes had been taken was “devastating.”

“It was a wee memory box beside my bed, the ashes were in a plastic bag inside the box and there was a picture in the box and pictures of her around it too.

“My first thought was a family member had maybe taken them to do something as a Christmas present but it wasn’t.

“I was in bits then.”

The mum said that Belfast police told her that the thieves may have believed that the ashes were drugs.

“What is hurting me the most is once they realise it’s not drugs they are going to throw them away,” she said.

“My head is all over the place.”

Inspector Paul Noble is appealing for anybody with information to come forward.

In a statement, he said:

“During the burglary, which we believe occurred between 6.15pm and 9.30pm yesterday evening, a small clear bag from a wooden box which contained the ashes of the victim’s deceased baby daughter was taken.

“Understandably, this has left the victim extremely distressed, therefore, we are appealing to whoever entered the property last night to please do the right thing and return the bag to police.”

Claire said that the robbery has left her “absolutely devastated, angry and sickened.”

“We don’t care about whatever sick person done this we just want our Holly back.”