Mother devastated at theft of camera

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A MOTHER with a disabled child is appealing to the thief who stole her bag to return a camera containing priceless family photos.

Hazel Dawkins, 40, from Haverhill, had visited the Abbeycroft Leisure Centre in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday May 28 to take her three-year-old daughter Olivia, who has Down’s syndrome, to an activity day for disabled children.

Hazel also brought her two other children, Liam, 12, and Isobel, one, and Liam’s girlfriend Shola along for the ride. The family left the centre at around 3pm and piled into the car. Distracted by the children, it was only as she got a mile down the road that she realised she had left her pram bag in the car park.

When she returned she found the bag, but on closer inspection found her purse and camera were missing.

The camera, a blue Panasonic Lumix, contained pictures of both Olivia and Isobel growing up.

Hazel said she was devastated at the loss of the photos and hopes the thief will have the heart to return them.

She said: “We had gone to the leisure centre because they put on activities for children with special needs - they have games and music shows and face painting - I had pictures from that day on the camera, too. Leaving my bag in the car park was a stupid thing to do but it is easy to forget sometimes.

“I am devastated about my camera, there are pictures on there of my children growing up.

“There are photos of Olivia dancing and doing things that take a her a lot of effort to achieve, it is so sad they are gone.

“I wouldn’t mind if the person kept the camera and just handed in the memory card.

“I don’t care about the purse or the money, it is the camera and the family photos that are important to me. I hope when the person sees the pictures they will have the heart to return it, we just want those pictures back.”

n Contact our newsdesk if you have found the camera – or can help – on 01284 757857.