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A Crumlin woman has made a heartfelt plea to thieves who stole a laptop containing some of the only photos of her late husband and son.
Theresa Lavery, from Landgarve Manor, spoke to the Antrim Guardian about the 'devastating loss' of the photos after her home was broken into on Monday, January 16. Theresa said she was 'hysterical' when she came back from work around 9.35pm to find the back door of her house had been kicked in and that the laptop and other valuables had been taken.
“They must have been disturbed because they left behind things which were obviously valuable," she said. "My quilt was lying on the floor downstairs so they must have been using it to carry things before they were spooked."
This is not the first trauma Theresa and her 24-year-old daughter Danielle have had to deal with. Theresa's 31-year-old soon Martin died suddenly in December 2010 and her husband, also called Martin, was shot dead aged 40 by two UVF gunmen in his home on Belfast's Crumlin Road in December 1992.
He was lying on the floor playing with his five-year-old daughter when they burst in and shot him four times in the chest. They also held a gun to his teenage son's head before firing a shot at Theresa as she chased them from their home.
Speaking of the burglary, the local woman said: "I was hysterical when I saw the door kicked in.
That's the way they came in when they shot my husband in front of my children and it was like reliving the same nightmare all over again.
“Martin never really got over his father's death. That's why he got sick and to be honest, ultimately, it killed him too."
Despite the horrific memories the burglary has dredged up, not to mention the financial burden, Theresa and Danielle said that all they care about is the return of their precious photos and videos.
Danielle said: "That Apple Mac laptop contains some of the only memories we have of Martin and Daddy. All we want is to get those back.
“I was putting together a memorial DVD using the images and now that's lost. We don't care about the laptop or the TV or anything else - just our memories. All they have to do is make a copy or send us the hard drive.
“I don't remember my daddy's voice but I had a recording of him on the laptop, now I'm never going to hear his voice again. And it's the same with Martin."
Danielle added: "His wee nieces and nephews were his world and it breaks my heart that someday, they'll feel the same, gutted that they can't remember their uncle's voice or see pictures of happier times he spent with them.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)
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