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Father speaks of heartache over burglary

Cpl Philip Westberg

[A] FATHER has spoken of his heartache after a burglar stole a remembrance card given to him by the British Army following his son’s death.

Ian Westberg of Ushaw Moor, was left devastated after a burglar stole a purse containing the card and sentimental photos from his home on February 17.

Mr Westberg, 57, said: “My wife had gone downstairs to make a cup of tea and unlocked the back door to let the dog into the garden. Soon after, we realised her handbag was gone.

“It hit my wife incredibly hard. We were both upset.

“The army gave us this card and it meant a lot. Small photos of our children were also taken. They are irreplaceable.”

Now, Durham Constabulary are appealing for the public’s help in reuniting the parents with the item which is the size of a credit card and has the Soldier’s Prayer on one side.

Mr Westberg’s son, Cpl Philip Westberg, 27, suffered a haemorrhage at his Warwickshire army barracks and died in 2013. Cpl Westberg had joined the army in 2007, serving as an ammunition technician for the 121 Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps and had been awarded a medal for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Detective Constable Alistair Rogowski said: “One of the items taken was a unique and sentimental remembrance card which was handed to the parents of a soldier. It is of great significance and they would desperately like to have it back.

“Police have already searched the area but have been unable to locate this card. Please can members of the public keep their eyes open because we would like to return it to the family.”

Commenting on the investigation, DC Rogowski said: “With the help of the community, there was enough evidence gathered to charge and remand a man with a string of burglary offences. We want to thank all the members of public who engaged with police and helped to bring the suspect to justice.

“Now, if we can reunite the card with Ian and his family, we would be over the moon.”

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