Sussex

'Cruel burglars' steal dying mother's gifts to daughter

Kristy Lane's daughter, Eleanor Image copyright Kristy Lane
Image caption The jewellery was made for Kristy Lane's daughter Eleanor to have as an adult

Bespoke pieces of jewellery made to be given to the daughter of a terminally-ill woman at key stages in her life have been stolen by "cruel" burglars.

Kristy Lane, 44, said the robbery at the family home in Crawley Down, West Sussex, had caused "lifetime harm".

The burglars also went through the memory box of her stillborn son.

She said the offenders had "tainted the memory" of her son "and ruined the only thing I can do for my daughter's future when I'm no longer here".

Mrs Lane, who is a lawyer, was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis shortly after the premature birth of her daughter Eleanor nine years ago after several miscarriages.

Four years earlier, her son George died 35 weeks into her pregnancy.

Image copyright Kristy Lane
Image caption Pendant made as an 18th birthday present for Eleanor

The only items of jewellery left behind in the raid at her home in Turners Hill Road on 4 March were cufflinks belonging to her husband and a gold pendant made with the footprints of her baby son.

Mrs Lane said she had commissioned most of the handmade jewellery because it was "highly unlikely" she would live to see such events as her daughter's wedding and the birth of a grandchild.

"I had handmade jewellery to give to my daughter at important stages of her life. All of it was taken.

"They went through my son's memory box... anyone who has suffered the loss of a child will understand the pain," she said.

Image copyright Barbara Tipple
Image caption Most of the bespoke jewellery was designed and made by Barbara Tipple

She has offered a £5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the burglars and the return of the items.

Most of the jewellery was designed and made by Barbara Tipple, from Southsea in Hampshire, who described the theft as "appalling".

She said: "These thieves steal stuff and sell it for a pittance.

"It's the emotional value. It's devastating.

"Each little piece of jewellery meant something for her, and is totally irreplaceable."

Sussex Police said it was investigating the burglary, which happened between 17:00 and 19:30 GMT.

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