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Brutal blow weeks after man's wife dies from cancer at 35

Widower Simon has had a devastating financial and sentimental loss weeks after losing his wife.

A widower is dealing with a double heartache after thieves stole his late wife’s jewellery from his home – just weeks after her death.

Simon Richards is calling for the crooks to return Mary’s “irreplaceable” items, after they ransacked his property, taking the couple's wedding bands, Mary’s engagement ring and a silver Tiffany and Co. necklace. The items are collectively worth thousands of dollars.

The 43-year-old from the UK, was married to Mary for four-and-a-half years before she died of breast cancer, aged just 35.

The robbery took place on December 18 – seven weeks after her death.

"I came home from work and immediately sensed something was not right... even the smell of the hallway was different, it wasn't the smell of the home but more like a musty dirty clothing smell," Simon recalled.

A photo of Simon and Mary on the left and selfie of Mary on the right before her cancer death.
Simon lost Mary last year to cancer. Source: Jam Press

"I went straight upstairs and turned the light on in the bedroom. There was stuff everywhere, the clothes were all over the floor, and I saw the jewellery boxes had been opened from the bedside unit.

"The bedside unit has Mary's ashes and some photos of her surrounding it. They even took the lid off the box to see what was inside.

”It's not only the fact I walked into a mess like, it was seeing Mary's belongings out that took me a while to come to terms with.”

Theory teens are behind break in

After Simon made the heartbreaking discovery, he called the police. The thieves smashed the rear kitchen window of his home to get in. He believes youths were responsible for the break-in as it was a small window to get through.

A picture of Mary's missing engagement ring on her finger.
Mary's missing engagement ring. Source: Jam Press

He also claims that his neighbour saw three young people standing against the wall of the property directly across the road earlier that day.

Simon is now urging the crooks to come forward and return the sentimental items.

He also asks people to check any jewellery they received as a Christmas gift matches the missing item’s descriptions.

Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2022 but had a mastectomy to remove the tumour. Although she was given the all-clear, Mary was then diagnosed with recurring cancer just weeks later. She died three months later on October 28 last year.

Simon says that his first Christmas without Mary was difficult. But he is “trying to get by each day at a time.”

“It’s been pretty bad. Christmas was her favourite time – she would get really excited about presents, so I knew it would be hard," he said.

Police in Staffordshire where Simon lives say they have released images of the jewellery as they try and locate them and those responsible.

- Jam Press

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