Thieves steal from murdered Farnworth teenager's grave

Joan Holland at the graveside of her son, Andrew

Andrew Holland

Joan Holland at the graveside of her son, Andrew

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

THE devastated mother of a murdered teenager has spoken of her heartache after thieves stole tributes from her son’s graveside.

Andrew Holland, aged 16, was stabbed to death outside Ashys takeaway in Plodder Lane, Farnworth, on August 17, 2007.

He was buried at St Michael and St Bartholomew’s Church, Great Lever, and his mother, Joan, has visited the grave every week since his death.

Miss Holland and the rest of Andrew’s family have created a huge decorated shrine to the teenager — leaving toys, angels and other mementoes so he “doesn’t feel alone”.

But when Miss Holland went to tend the grave on Mother’s Day, she was horrified to discover someone had stolen some of the flower arrangements, solar lights, and toys.

It is not the first time ornaments have gone missing from Andrew’s grave.

In 2008 — just a year after his death — thieves repeatedly stole the same type of ornaments placed on the same spot by the grieving family.

Miss Holland, aged 50, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw they had done it again. I was shaking all over. I felt ill I was so angry and upset. Why would you take something from a dead child?

“I leave the solar lights and angels on there because I can’t stand to think of him alone in the dark.

“My grandchildren leave things down there too. Things like toy cars or meercats. They’re just things that we think Andrew would like and that helps us.


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“They are things that are of no value to anyone else. It’s like they’ve gone down there with a big black bag and cleared the lot.

“I would love to catch them. It’s heartbreaking enough to lose a child but to take from the dead, I think whoever has done this is evil.”

Miss Holland has reported the thefts to the police but says she wants more to be done to protect the graveyard.

Reverend Jenny Penn, team vicar of the Seven Saints team, said: “It must be desperately sad for the family. I think it’s a terrible that something like this could happen to a family who have already been through so much.”

Andrew’s killer, Mahmood Maksoudian, aged 22, at the time, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Miss Holland, a grandmother-of-six, still remembers the last phonecall she had with her son just 20 minutes before he was stabbed.

She said: “He rang me 20 minutes before it happened to ask if a friend could stay and that he was on his way home. I’ll never forget that phonecall.”

Police are investigating the thefts.

Comments (22)

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7:23am Sat 12 Apr 14

A Hybrid Lord says...

It's frightening that we have so many sick, disgusting lowlifes walking our streets.

Sadly the culprit(s) are unlikely to be caught, but let's hope they are, and are made to face some form of justice - at the very least be named and shamed!
It's frightening that we have so many sick, disgusting lowlifes walking our streets. Sadly the culprit(s) are unlikely to be caught, but let's hope they are, and are made to face some form of justice - at the very least be named and shamed! A Hybrid Lord
  • Score: 37

9:10am Sat 12 Apr 14

Donkey Stone says...

Lowest of the low.
Lowest of the low. Donkey Stone
  • Score: 24

10:03am Sat 12 Apr 14

Bob Shaftoe says...

Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys. Bob Shaftoe
  • Score: 10

11:23am Sat 12 Apr 14

Diamonintherough says...

Shame on some of these disrespectful comments!
Flowers get stolen from graves every day are they too an eyesore?
Shame on some of these disrespectful comments! Flowers get stolen from graves every day are they too an eyesore? Diamonintherough
  • Score: 13

11:35am Sat 12 Apr 14

goldie47 says...

total scumbags....need a good kicking
total scumbags....need a good kicking goldie47
  • Score: 16

11:41am Sat 12 Apr 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Well some people have shown their true colors on the BN today. People??? Sometimes and opinion really should be kept to yourselves.

A cemetery is NOT a solemn place at all. It is how you choose to either 'celebrate' or 'morn' a death that makes a graveside venue. Your plot is your family and friends plot to 'celebrate' or 'morn' as they see fit.

A few of you here need your IP's tracing and your ISP notifying of your constant trolling and abusive behavior. I know I am one to talk, but on this occasion you people should be hanging your head in shame. Bob that was not 'Free Speech', Wolfie190 - I am usually agree with a lot of your mutterings but today you stepped over the mark.

I hope the family can get some answers.
Well some people have shown their true colors on the BN today. People??? Sometimes and opinion really should be kept to yourselves. A cemetery is NOT a solemn place at all. It is how you choose to either 'celebrate' or 'morn' a death that makes a graveside venue. Your plot is your family and friends plot to 'celebrate' or 'morn' as they see fit. A few of you here need your IP's tracing and your ISP notifying of your constant trolling and abusive behavior. I know I am one to talk, but on this occasion you people should be hanging your head in shame. Bob that was not 'Free Speech', Wolfie190 - I am usually agree with a lot of your mutterings but today you stepped over the mark. I hope the family can get some answers. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 16

12:03pm Sat 12 Apr 14

xCarlyx says...

Absolutely discusting some of the comments on here, a poor woman has lost her son and all you can think about is it's tasteless to put toys on a grave side? If it helps his family greave what's it got to do with any of you selfish, narrow minded people. Is it hurting any of you? Have some respect for the dead. But mind you, most people these days have absolutely no respect for the living or them selves let alone the dead.
Absolutely discusting some of the comments on here, a poor woman has lost her son and all you can think about is it's tasteless to put toys on a grave side? If it helps his family greave what's it got to do with any of you selfish, narrow minded people. Is it hurting any of you? Have some respect for the dead. But mind you, most people these days have absolutely no respect for the living or them selves let alone the dead. xCarlyx
  • Score: 18

12:29pm Sat 12 Apr 14

boltonnut says...

Despicable act by a despicable person.A grave is a shrine to "mourn" at and remember the dear departed.Some graves are adorned with personal items, some graves are neglected,whatever the case let the departed RIP.Anyone desiccating a grave has to be pretty sick.
Despicable act by a despicable person.A grave is a shrine to "mourn" at and remember the dear departed.Some graves are adorned with personal items, some graves are neglected,whatever the case let the departed RIP.Anyone desiccating a grave has to be pretty sick. boltonnut
  • Score: 19

1:04pm Sat 12 Apr 14

kerry g says...

Some of the comments on this topic are disgusting at least his grave isn't dull he was he child like every mother would want their child's grave to be like the Ben needs to removed comments that ain't nice
Some of the comments on this topic are disgusting at least his grave isn't dull he was he child like every mother would want their child's grave to be like the Ben needs to removed comments that ain't nice kerry g
  • Score: -1

1:19pm Sat 12 Apr 14

steverock6@sky.com says...

If something gives comfort to grieving loved ones what is the problem! The people who have done this are scum nothing else we live in a country with little respect its sad to see things like this happen
If something gives comfort to grieving loved ones what is the problem! The people who have done this are scum nothing else we live in a country with little respect its sad to see things like this happen steverock6@sky.com
  • Score: 17

3:39pm Sat 12 Apr 14

holloway_david says...

Wolfie 190 your comment is a total disgrace.

Disrespect is what you have shown by your comments.
This Mother cared for her son in life and now in death.
I can only suspect your tag name represents a Lone Wolfe and want attention in that normally, no one can relate to you .
You obviously have a sick mind.
Wolfie 190 your comment is a total disgrace. Disrespect is what you have shown by your comments. This Mother cared for her son in life and now in death. I can only suspect your tag name represents a Lone Wolfe and want attention in that normally, no one can relate to you . You obviously have a sick mind. holloway_david
  • Score: 3

5:11pm Sat 12 Apr 14

JustBecause says...

Bob Shaftoe wrote:
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.
[quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.[/p][/quote]In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live. JustBecause
  • Score: -4

5:36pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Bob Shaftoe says...

JustBecause wrote:
Bob Shaftoe wrote:
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.
So what's your opinion on this?
[quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.[/p][/quote]In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.[/p][/quote]So what's your opinion on this? Bob Shaftoe
  • Score: 3

9:58pm Sat 12 Apr 14

flyingdagger says...

Beyond News Forum wrote:
Well some people have shown their true colors on the BN today. People??? Sometimes and opinion really should be kept to yourselves.

A cemetery is NOT a solemn place at all. It is how you choose to either 'celebrate' or 'morn' a death that makes a graveside venue. Your plot is your family and friends plot to 'celebrate' or 'morn' as they see fit.

A few of you here need your IP's tracing and your ISP notifying of your constant trolling and abusive behavior. I know I am one to talk, but on this occasion you people should be hanging your head in shame. Bob that was not 'Free Speech', Wolfie190 - I am usually agree with a lot of your mutterings but today you stepped over the mark.

I hope the family can get some answers.
I've emailed the Bolton News on at least 3 occasions to ask why comments never appear to be moderated. They couldn't even bother to reply to my emails
[quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: Well some people have shown their true colors on the BN today. People??? Sometimes and opinion really should be kept to yourselves. A cemetery is NOT a solemn place at all. It is how you choose to either 'celebrate' or 'morn' a death that makes a graveside venue. Your plot is your family and friends plot to 'celebrate' or 'morn' as they see fit. A few of you here need your IP's tracing and your ISP notifying of your constant trolling and abusive behavior. I know I am one to talk, but on this occasion you people should be hanging your head in shame. Bob that was not 'Free Speech', Wolfie190 - I am usually agree with a lot of your mutterings but today you stepped over the mark. I hope the family can get some answers.[/p][/quote]I've emailed the Bolton News on at least 3 occasions to ask why comments never appear to be moderated. They couldn't even bother to reply to my emails flyingdagger
  • Score: -5

7:32pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Beyond News Forum says...

flyingdagger wrote:
Beyond News Forum wrote:
Well some people have shown their true colors on the BN today. People??? Sometimes and opinion really should be kept to yourselves.

A cemetery is NOT a solemn place at all. It is how you choose to either 'celebrate' or 'morn' a death that makes a graveside venue. Your plot is your family and friends plot to 'celebrate' or 'morn' as they see fit.

A few of you here need your IP's tracing and your ISP notifying of your constant trolling and abusive behavior. I know I am one to talk, but on this occasion you people should be hanging your head in shame. Bob that was not 'Free Speech', Wolfie190 - I am usually agree with a lot of your mutterings but today you stepped over the mark.

I hope the family can get some answers.
I've emailed the Bolton News on at least 3 occasions to ask why comments never appear to be moderated. They couldn't even bother to reply to my emails
They do censor when they see fit.

Edit buttons are needed also.

But the point here as many of us here seem to agree is that we can comment as we see fit on most subjects and issues, but on an issue such as this where plain disrespect is shown to a family who have lost their son, a mother who lost her child which no parent should ever have to go through - is the same kind of disrespect that the most vicious of people would show to a human that cannot fight back or answer in reply. We have seen this type of person disrespect war dead, prisoners of war and defenseless animals.

Humanity is the worst form of pestilence sometimes.
[quote][p][bold]flyingdagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: Well some people have shown their true colors on the BN today. People??? Sometimes and opinion really should be kept to yourselves. A cemetery is NOT a solemn place at all. It is how you choose to either 'celebrate' or 'morn' a death that makes a graveside venue. Your plot is your family and friends plot to 'celebrate' or 'morn' as they see fit. A few of you here need your IP's tracing and your ISP notifying of your constant trolling and abusive behavior. I know I am one to talk, but on this occasion you people should be hanging your head in shame. Bob that was not 'Free Speech', Wolfie190 - I am usually agree with a lot of your mutterings but today you stepped over the mark. I hope the family can get some answers.[/p][/quote]I've emailed the Bolton News on at least 3 occasions to ask why comments never appear to be moderated. They couldn't even bother to reply to my emails[/p][/quote]They do censor when they see fit. Edit buttons are needed also. But the point here as many of us here seem to agree is that we can comment as we see fit on most subjects and issues, but on an issue such as this where plain disrespect is shown to a family who have lost their son, a mother who lost her child which no parent should ever have to go through - is the same kind of disrespect that the most vicious of people would show to a human that cannot fight back or answer in reply. We have seen this type of person disrespect war dead, prisoners of war and defenseless animals. Humanity is the worst form of pestilence sometimes. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -1

10:49pm Sun 13 Apr 14

SleepingThunder says...

It is a public forum & every one has there point of view & i have to agree that when laying flowers & orniments you have to remember it is other peoples place to mourn as well.
It is a public forum & every one has there point of view & i have to agree that when laying flowers & orniments you have to remember it is other peoples place to mourn as well. SleepingThunder
  • Score: 4

3:36am Mon 14 Apr 14

doogle1965 says...

in my opinion its up to the individual as to how they want to decorate the grave of a loved one,whether its bare with just bunch of flowers or its covered in lovely items, it is there own plot no one elses so saying have some respect for other peoples loves ones, all I can say to that is its not being disrespectable to others by doing your loved ones grave up,...I love walking round graveyards looking at how lovely they are..would you call a childs grave that's covered in teddies, dolls, windmills spinning round, toys etc because I see lots of lovely ones,were do you draw the line as to what is disrespectable to others, should every grave be the same nothing but a bunch of flowers, other people should only be concerned about there loved one not the grave of someone they don't know it doesnt stop them mourning because the grave on next row is decorated..shame on you heartless people who have left nasty comments .sounds lovely miss Holland sorry for what has happened thieving scum...
in my opinion its up to the individual as to how they want to decorate the grave of a loved one,whether its bare with just bunch of flowers or its covered in lovely items, it is there own plot no one elses so saying have some respect for other peoples loves ones, all I can say to that is its not being disrespectable to others by doing your loved ones grave up,...I love walking round graveyards looking at how lovely they are..would you call a childs grave that's covered in teddies, dolls, windmills spinning round, toys etc because I see lots of lovely ones,were do you draw the line as to what is disrespectable to others, should every grave be the same nothing but a bunch of flowers, other people should only be concerned about there loved one not the grave of someone they don't know it doesnt stop them mourning because the grave on next row is decorated..shame on you heartless people who have left nasty comments .sounds lovely miss Holland sorry for what has happened thieving scum... doogle1965
  • Score: 5

10:48am Mon 14 Apr 14

JustBecause says...

Bob Shaftoe wrote:
JustBecause wrote:
Bob Shaftoe wrote:
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.
So what's your opinion on this?
People can do what they like within the confines of their own space its got absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.

More people should be like this, upkeep of graves in his country is shocking.

But then again, there is little respect on this island for the living, the dead have no chance.
[quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.[/p][/quote]In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.[/p][/quote]So what's your opinion on this?[/p][/quote]People can do what they like within the confines of their own space its got absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. More people should be like this, upkeep of graves in his country is shocking. But then again, there is little respect on this island for the living, the dead have no chance. JustBecause
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Mon 14 Apr 14

RogerDT says...

Anyone who steals from a child's grave needs to join them 6 feet under.
Anyone who steals from a child's grave needs to join them 6 feet under. RogerDT
  • Score: 2

6:33pm Mon 14 Apr 14

holloway_david says...

JustBecause wrote:
Bob Shaftoe wrote:
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.
I am a pensioner who is in great sympathy with this lady and how she wishes to decorate her sons grave is her business.
"JustBecause" I hope when you become a pensioner you accept your remarks from somebody else and feel insulted as you should be right now, you cretin!.
[quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.[/p][/quote]In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.[/p][/quote]I am a pensioner who is in great sympathy with this lady and how she wishes to decorate her sons grave is her business. "JustBecause" I hope when you become a pensioner you accept your remarks from somebody else and feel insulted as you should be right now, you cretin!. holloway_david
  • Score: 1

7:41pm Mon 14 Apr 14

holloway_david says...

holloway_david wrote:
JustBecause wrote:
Bob Shaftoe wrote:
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.
I am a pensioner who is in great sympathy with this lady and how she wishes to decorate her sons grave is her business.
"JustBecause" I hope when you become a pensioner you accept your remarks from somebody else and feel insulted as you should be right now, you cretin!.
Ps: What do you call your Grandparents; if not pensioners now, then they will be.?
[quote][p][bold]holloway_david[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.[/p][/quote]In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.[/p][/quote]I am a pensioner who is in great sympathy with this lady and how she wishes to decorate her sons grave is her business. "JustBecause" I hope when you become a pensioner you accept your remarks from somebody else and feel insulted as you should be right now, you cretin!.[/p][/quote]Ps: What do you call your Grandparents; if not pensioners now, then they will be.? holloway_david
  • Score: 1

6:30pm Tue 15 Apr 14

holloway_david says...

holloway_david wrote:
holloway_david wrote:
JustBecause wrote:
Bob Shaftoe wrote:
Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.
In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.
I am a pensioner who is in great sympathy with this lady and how she wishes to decorate her sons grave is her business.
"JustBecause" I hope when you become a pensioner you accept your remarks from somebody else and feel insulted as you should be right now, you cretin!.
Ps: What do you call your Grandparents; if not pensioners now, then they will be.?
"everything is( theirs" ) if you had lived in the past then your spelling would have been correct, as education then was much better than you were provided with!
[quote][p][bold]holloway_david[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]holloway_david[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob Shaftoe[/bold] wrote: Maybe people that have loved ones buried in St Michaels think this grave dressing is disrespectful to them. Graveyards are a solemn places for refection and memories not solar lights and toys.[/p][/quote]In your opinion, which is worthless because no one asked you, again, I would suspect it's more than likely to be one of the sad jumped up pensioners who think that that everything is there's and the past is where we all should live.[/p][/quote]I am a pensioner who is in great sympathy with this lady and how she wishes to decorate her sons grave is her business. "JustBecause" I hope when you become a pensioner you accept your remarks from somebody else and feel insulted as you should be right now, you cretin!.[/p][/quote]Ps: What do you call your Grandparents; if not pensioners now, then they will be.?[/p][/quote]"everything is( theirs" ) if you had lived in the past then your spelling would have been correct, as education then was much better than you were provided with! holloway_david
  • Score: 1

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