Cash theft outrage

A MUM has spoken of her devastation after thieves broke into the pub where she works and stole the charity jar in memory of her teenage daughter.

Thursday, 4th February 2010, 2:40 pm

Kayleigh Edgar died from a heart condition three years ago, just before her 18th birthday.

She was born with pulmonary atresia and spent the last few months of her life in and out of hospital. However she never let her illness get in the way of enjoying life and just five days before she died, she walked her proud mum, Carol, down the aisle at her wedding to Richard Jagger.

Inspired by her courage, regulars at the Bankfield in Bleak Street, Gomersal, have been fund-raising and managed to fill a bell-jar with cash.

They then planned to give it to Kayleigh's friends, Sam Wells and Sarah Heppenstall, who are about to embark on a trek to Everest's base camp in aid of the British Heart Foundation in her memory.

But in the early hours of Friday morning thieves broke into the pub and stole the jar.

Carol said everyone was disgusted by the theft.

"They stole a quarter bottle of vodka, 40 cigarettes and the jar," she said.

"So they have sat there drinking, smoking and counting Kayleigh's money.

"They knew what they were looking for, and they knew what the money was for because it said so on the jar.

"They are sick, heartless individuals who are the scum of the earth. I want them to come back here - and I want to see their faces when they tell me why they felt they could take someone else's money.

"My family - Richard, Claire and I - are hurt, angry and upset. It wasn't just a charity bottle, it was given in memory of Kayleigh.

"We were four weeks away from counting what was raised and presenting Sam and Sarah with a cheque which would have been nearly 1,000.

"Everyone at the pub has been fantastic, they knew and loved Kayleigh and donations had been flooding in. We can't thank them enough for their support, but now we can't even tell them how generous they have been."

Lesley Holroyd, who runs the pub with her husband, Graham, said they could not believe the kindness of the locals.

"We had a raffle just after Christmas which packed the pub, we've 'fined' customers for swearing and they've put in their loose change and even 10 notes," she said

"The response has been overwhelming, we couldn't believe how it took off. Now everyone's just devastated and can't believe how someone could do such a thing.

"But we won't let them beat us. We've already started another jar and we're organising another raffle, so if anyone wants to donate a prize, or money, they can just call into the pub and we'll be very grateful."

Graham praised the police who responded to their call.

"They immediately contacted local supermarkets warning them to be on the lookout for people with lots of loose change. They've been absolutely brilliant," he said.

The Holroyds are offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Anyone with information should call the police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sam and Sarah will be doing their trek in Kayleigh's memory in March and hope to raise 5,000.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/skwells or write to Sam at 24 Shirley Road, Gomersal.