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'Ashamed' Thief Returns Stolen D-Day Plaque Along With £200 And Apology Letter

'Ashamed' Thief Returns Stolen D-Day Plaque Along With £200 And Apology Letter

An 'ashamed' thief who vandalised a D-Day memorial has returned one of the five plaques that were stolen, along with an apology letter and more than £200 ($246) in cash.

Each of the brass plaques, which bore the name of the infamous Normandy beach landings - Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah - were stolen from Castle Park in Bristol on 2 September.

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They had only been unveiled three months earlier to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the iconic military operation.

But in the space of a week, the thief seems to have had a crisis of conscience and returned one of the plaques - as well as £205 in cash and an apology.

In the contrite note, the anonymous vandal said they were 'ashamed and shocked' by their 'drunken state'.

The apology note and £205 in cash. Credit: SWNS
The apology note and £205 in cash. Credit: SWNS

It read: "I hope this donation along with the plaque I returned can go some way to making up for the distress and upset that my actions have caused.

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"I am very ashamed and shocked that I was capable of such a destructive act.

"Whilst I don't want to use my drunken state as an excuse, I am certain that this is something I would never usually do.

"I can assure you that I will never act in such a disrespectful manner again.

"At the time I was unaware of the significance of the plaques in Castle Park. I have nothing but respect for the veterans and the sacrifices that they have made for this country."

He ended the letter by writing: "Once again I would like to offer a sincere apology for my actions and all of the hassle that has come as a result of them."

Paul Turner, secretary of the Bristol and Warmley Veteran's Group, said he was 'taken aback' by the letter's honesty and sincerity, and added the person - or people - behind it are forgiven.

One of the stolen plaques was also returned. Credit: SWNS
One of the stolen plaques was also returned. Credit: SWNS

He said: "I would like to chat to them to say I appreciate they have had the backbone to face up to what they have done.

"It takes a man to apologise when he has done something wrong.

"I've told the police investigating not to waste their time. If officers came back to me asking if I wish to press charges, I'd say no. They are forgiven."

Since the thief made away with the plaques, the community has come together to support its veterans' group - donating more than £1,500 ($1,850) to help replace them.

Incredibly, one brass plaque was returned to the group after being fished out of the water by a canoeist, while another was sent to the Bristol Post last week.

Let's hope they can find the other two.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: World News, uk news, Interesting, History, Bristol, crime, World War Two, France

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

 

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