VILE thieves have stolen a hand-built memorial bench created by a devoted son as a tribute to his mother and mother-in-law.
Peter Tucker, 68, crafted the bench at Bowmont Forest in Kelso, Scottish Borders, only seven months ago.
It was sited at the spot where his late mother, Dorothy, and mother-in-law, Pearl Dalgleish, regularly visited to enjoy the views.
But to the shock of Peter and his wife, Christine, 67, the bench disappeared last week.
Peter said: “We are just in disbelief over it all. On the Monday we were on a walk and saw it, then by Tuesday it was gone.
“It holds such sentimental value. I don’t know why anyone would do it.
“We saw a van stop there in the evening it went missing but didn’t think anything of it.”
Christine said: “When our mums were still around, they would always go to the spot.
“We would wheel my mum up in her wheelchair and she would say that it would be useful to have a bench there for us to sit on as well.”
After Christine’s mum, Pearl passed away in 2009 followed by Peter’s mum in 2012, the couple decided a few years later to build the bench they had always talked about.
Christina added: “When we got the go ahead that we were allowed to build the bench, Peter decided on a design.
“He designed and made it himself so it is very personal to us.”
The thieves went to extraordinary lengths to steal the bench as the legs was buried over a foot into the ground and the structure was further secured by a heavy iron bar about 18 inches down and cemented in.
Christine said: “It is unique so I’d like to think if someone recognises it from a neighbour’s garden or something they would come forward.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Our enquiries are ongoing into the theft of a public bench from Bowmont Forest. The wooden structure was removed from a parcel of land between 4pm on Monday January 25th and 3pm on Tuesday, January 26th.
“Anyone who noticed suspicious behaviour in the area around the time should contact police on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”