Grieving son makes heartfelt plea for return of mobile phone

Ars�ne Wenger, the manager of Arsenal FC, with John Leeves, now deceased.

Ars�ne Wenger, the manager of Arsenal FC, with John Leeves, now deceased.

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A grieving son who attended his father’s cremation service on Friday has made a heartfelt plea to have his mobile phone returned, and with it mementos of the precious time they spent together.

John Leeves, a father-of-four from Bury St Edmunds’ Mildenhall Road estate, had bravely fought pancreatic cancer for 26 months when he eventually died on June 24, aged 63.

He was his son Aaron’s ‘best friend’ and on the missing phone are recent photographs of the two of them.

These include their last picture together, taken on Father’s Day, and some that were taken during an ‘unforgettable day’ they spent with Arsène Wenger and his squad at the Arsenal training ground.

There are also videos and voicemail messages from John that Aaron found comfort listening to.

Aaron, 30, said: “More than anything, it’s the voicemails I used to get off my father every weekend. Little things that mean a lot to me, just hearing his voice again.

“Over the few months before he passed away, his voice had gone and he couldn’t talk, but having those voicemails on there reminded me of him.

“There are things I could have kept for a lifetime, but I’ve lost them now. I’m just hoping someone’s good enough to bring them back.”

Aaron went out in Bury on Friday after attending his father’s ‘celebration of life’ service at West Suffolk Crematorium.

After getting upset, he sat on a bench near the bus station looking at photos stored on his black iPhone 5.

His battery died and he is unsure whether he left the phone on the bench or lost it in Club Brazilia, where he was when he realised it had gone missing.

He said: “I had that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, the one you get when you’ve lost something that means a lot to you, and the fear of not seeing it again, the fear of not being able to listen to his voice when I felt down. I darted about in a panic but I didn’t find it.”

The phone has not been handed in to police.

If you have found it, please call 01284 750503.

Aaron said: “I know it’s only a mobile phone but it has stuff on it that can’t ever be replaced. I’m just hoping that the right person picked it up and they have a heart.”

His sister Rachael, 28, said: “It makes me emotional just thinking about it because it’s stuff that none of us have got.

“It would mean the world to Aaron, and to all of us, if whoever has it would do the right thing. Because what we’re dealing with is so difficult, it would lift our spirits again.”

Can you help find the phone?

A black iPhone 5 with treasured mementos of Aaron Leeves’ recently deceased father.

It was lost or stolen in the early hours of Saturday (July 13).

Either on the bench near Bury St Edmunds bus station in St Andrew’s Street North, in Club Brazilia on Station Hill, Bury, or somewhere between the two.

If you have the phone, or any information about its whereabouts, call 01284 750503.