Lowest of the low: Grandmother stole precious gifts from shrine to her dead baby grandson
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:32 AM on 24th November 2009
A grandmother who stole precious keepsakes from a shrine to her dead grandson has been branded 'callous' after walking free from court.
Alison Seabury, 39, took a gold charm bracelet and teddy bear charm from the shrine to her grandson Harvey Lewis-Hayes and sold them for just £44.
Harvey died aged nine weeks from sudden infant death syndrome in May 2007.
His heartbroken mother Hayley Lewis, 19, made a shrine at her home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Caught out: Seabury pictured relaxing at home with a crime novel. She took trinkets from a shrine to her grandson
But Seabury stole the items after Hayley and her boyfriend David Hayes went on holiday and asked her to look after their cat,.
It is thought that shortly after the couple left for the airport, Seabury stole the items, valued at £250, from the memorial set up in a spare bedroom.
She originally denied taking the items, but they were tracked down to a Rochdale pawn shop.
Seabury pleaded guilty to theft at Rawtenstall Magistrates Court and was given a community order, a 10-week curfew and ordered to pay £75 costs.
Hayley, Seabury's daughter-in-law, said: 'I was heartbroken when we returned from holiday.
'Alison took the gold charm bracelet off the dressing table where all Harvey's photos, first shoes, tooth box, tiny footprints printed in paint and all his personal belongings were.
Tragic: Harvey Lewis-Hayes died aged nine weeks from sudden infant death syndrome in May 2007
'This terrible act was committed in front of his photograph, which made me feel physically sick because she is his grandma.
'I feel extremely betrayed that she did not even let us get to our holiday before she violated my home and stole from us. She did it on the first day we were away.
'I believe her actions in taking the jewellery were calculated and callous in the extreme.'
Hayley's dad, Michael Lewis, said: 'I think it's a good sentence [which] will give her time to reflect on what she's done as she can't go out over Christmas and New Year.
'You never think that when you leave a member of your family to look after your house that they would stoop this low.
'It's impossible to contemplate the idea that a grandmother would steal things from her own dead grandchild and then pawn them for just £44.
'When we first asked her about the theft, she denied having committed it, but when we checked with pawn shops in Rochdale we found one where she had sold the items shortly after we left for the airport.'
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