Nobody above suspicion in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 12:37 28 July 2010

Flowers are still being stolen from graves at St Michael's Churchyard in Honiton.

Flowers are still being stolen from graves at St Michael's Churchyard in Honiton.

(C) 2006 Thinkstock

Mourners seek out flower thief in Honiton.

ANGRY mourners are checking out every report of suspicious activity at St Michael’s churchyard in Honiton following a spate of thefts from graves.

Determined efforts by police to catch the culprit have, so far, failed.

A widower has told how he visited the churchyard after hearing from his son that a suspicious-looking male had been spotted dozing on a seat there.

The family has lost countless flowers, which have been taken from family graves.

Most have disappeared within hours of being left at the site.

“My son saw a bloke with a wireless. He was half asleep on a bench,” the widower told the Midweek Herald. “I was due to go into town and decided to nip into the churchyard on my way to the shops.

“Sure enough, he was still there. He was quite youngish, about 25, and just seemed to be hanging around. He looked like he could be homeless.”

But the widower’s suspicions heightened further when a car pulled into the churchyard.

“A man and a woman with a dog got out of the car,” he said. “I went over and asked them if they had experienced any thefts of flowers and they told me they were only in the churchyard to walk their dog!”

The widower’s son told the Herald that the thief’s latest antics had even stooped to stealing flowers from the grave of the late Walt Summers, one of Honiton’s best-loved former characters and a one-time civic leader.

“I bought too many flowers, so I put a few stems on Walt Summers’ grave and a few on the grave of a former Honiton publican,” he said.

“Within hours they had all gone.”

Mourners say they are not convinced that the culprit is suffering from a form of mental illness, possibly linked to bereavement. Instead, they are now wondering if the flowers are being taken for commercial gain.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald