Acts of kindness boost Banbury woman's spirits after thieves target her baby's grave

Two acts of kindness have boosted a Banbury woman's spirits during the lockdown after thieves stole the memorial character from her baby's grave at a local cemetery.

By Matt Elofson
Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 12:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 2:11 pm

Zena Bough discovered the theft of the concrete Mickey Mouse character from her son’s grave at Hardwick Hill Cemetery at the top of the Southam Road late last month.

It was the second time a memorial had been stolen from her son's grave at the cemetery in the last two years.

She said: "My heart sank when I noticed it had again been stolen. The last time I saw Shaqil was just before lockdown, and it was there."

New Mickey Mouse stone painted and placed at the grave for Zena Bough's son in Banbury.

Her son, Shaqil Hussain Hafiz born February 3, 2011, stillborn due to kidney failure.

Since the Banbury Guardian published a story about the theft two women have come foward with acts of kindness to help Zena and her family.

Nicola Collins reached out to the Banbury Guardian after reading the story about the memorial theft.

She said: "I read something you wrote a while ago about a little boy's Micky Mouse statue being stolen from his grave. I was so sad I painted him a stone my children found at the seaside a few years back.

Mickey Mouse memorial stolen from the grave for Shaqil Hussain Hafiz in Banbury

"It just made me so sad that someone could steel something from a baby’s grave. I knew the mother would find it tricky to get a replacement.

"I belong to a Facebook group called Banbury rocks. I wanted to help, and I couldn’t do much, but we could paint a stone.

"On our walk we passed the grave, and left it for her to find and me and my family want her to know that although there are thoughtless people around most of us care."

Nicola's actions have helped Zena and her family during what has proven to be a pretty tough lockdown period.

Zena made the following post on Facebook after discovering the Mickey Mouse painted stone at her son's grave.

She said: "I just want to say a huge thank you to whom ever put this beautiful picture of Mickey on my son's grave.

"It's such a beautiful gift and means so much that someone has thought about my son so much.

"Also, my lovely delivery lady has dropped off a little Mickey statue.

"It honestly means so much that people who don't know us would think of him."

Zena said her Hermes delivery woman dropped off a mini Mickey Mouse statue on her doorstep after reading the story of the theft.

She added: "It’s incredibly beautiful that people can think of my boy."

The stolen memorial statue was reported to Thames Valley Police.

Anyone with information can get in touch with police by making a report online quoting reference 43200125314.

Alternatively, if they do not have access online, they can call 101.

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