Thief stole flowers from dead child’s grave while mum berated ‘disgusting’ crook

Leanne Slater, 39, stole flowers from Durham Road Cemetery in Stockton and was caught on CCTV (Image: Evening Gazette)

Leanne Slater, 39, stole flowers from Durham Road Cemetery in Stockton and was caught on CCTV (Image: Evening Gazette)

Shocking CCTV footage shows the moment a thief made off with floral tributes she had stolen from a child’s grave.

Leanne Slater, 39, stole flowers from Durham Road Cemetery in Stockton in June last year, leaving a heartbroken family.

Grieving mother Donna Dixon, 45, had visited the cemetery earlier in the afternoon to honor her son Keiran, who died suddenly in 2012 at the age of 14.

Family and friends visited the grave to celebrate 10 years after his death and laid fresh flowers at the site.

However, his loved ones were devastated when they were stolen by Slater half an hour later.

The Durham Road resident was found guilty of theft at a trial in Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. After she failed to appear in court, an arrest warrant was issued.

After the hearing, Kieran’s mother, Donna, from Stockton, said she was “absolutely disappointed” to find the flowers had been stolen. She said: “It’s horrific to stoop so low.


Leanne Slater was found guilty of theft by a jury on Wednesday (Image: Evening Gazette)

Taken from

Slater was seen walking down the street with the bouquets on CCTV


Slater stole the flowers from young Kieran’s grave in Stockton (Image: Evening Gazette)


Donna was left ‘absolutely gutted’ after finding out what happened to her son’s grave (Image: Evening Gazette)

She said: “It’s not nice to steal something, but from a graveyard it’s just gross. It was such a slap in the teeth that the flowers had only been in his garden for half an hour and it was his 10th memorial.

“He was a popular boy so everyone knew where the flowers were coming from so we were just really disappointed. I got sick of it.

“I understand that people have problems, but it just leaves you speechless to think that people would.”

Slater was caught after Keiran’s friend Jessica Hart received a picture of Slater with two of the floral tributes she left. She then obtained CCTV footage of Slater with the items.

In the video, Slater can be seen carrying a bouquet of flowers under each arm and walking away from the scene.

Prosecutor Anne Mitchell said: “An inquiry has been made and the woman’s whereabouts have been determined.

“Donna Dixon then visited the site and found the accused and held her until police arrived. She wore the same clothes as the woman pictured leaving the cemetery with the flowers.”

The court heard that Slater, of Durham Road, Stockton, was questioned by Cleveland Police but did not respond to all questions.

At an earlier hearing, she pleaded not guilty to the theft.

Testifying in court, Donna said that when she saw the picture she had in her car and searched for the defendant, she said: “I saw her wearing the same coat, got out and confronted her. She just denied that she had been around.’

Slater was found guilty of theft and failed to surrender to a police/court complaint.

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Justin Scacco

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