Sunday 25 September 2016

'All our photos, our memories... that's what so devastating' - Family distraught after thieves steal laptop with pictures of dead son

Esther Hayden

Published 20/04/2016 | 22:36

Barbara Sinnott with son Dean Sexton
Barbara Sinnott with son Dean Sexton
Dean Sexton holding a picture of his late brother Craig

A devastated mother has launched a desperate appeal to reunite her with her stolen laptop.

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Barbara Sinnott of Hazelwood, Gorey, Co Wexford was in bed asleep with partner Neville Sexton when thieves broke into their home in the early house of last Sunday morning.

Initially she thought it was her son Dean stirring restlessly in his own room but quickly realised that there were people downstairs.

'I thought it was Dean at first but then I realised it was a different sound and that there was someone downstairs. I woke Nev and we went down. Nev stopped me from going into the sitting room and we saw them running out the back. I went out the front door and saw a guy jumping into a silver car.

'I chased after him and begged him for the laptop because it has all the pictures and videos we have of our late son Craig who died in 2006. I didn't care about anything else they had taken. I just wanted the laptop.

'He drove at me going about 120kmh and I had to jump out of the way.

Dean Sexton holding a picture of his late brother Craig
Dean Sexton holding a picture of his late brother Craig

'Nev heard me scream. He hadn't realised I had gone out the front door and thought I was still in the house. Then the driver tried to run over Nev before they left our cul de sac.

'The thieves got in through the patio door and we think they lifted it to gain entry. I was completely dazed after what happened. We were so lucky that Nev was there because sometimes he could be done to work by that stage.

'I just kept thinking what they could have done to me and Dean if we had been home alone. That's what scares me most. I'm nervous now all the time in the house. I'm scared they will come back.'

Barbara and Nev have been devastated by the robbery not only in terms of the invasion of privacy, the fear of what could have happened but also the loss of a personal laptop containing precious photos and videos of both their sons, Craig and Dean. However the loss is even more poignant because the couple lost their eldest son Craig to cancer almost ten years ago.

'I just want my laptop back', said a distraught Barbara. 'All our photos of the boys were on it and video. All our photos, our memories, our videos, that's what so devastating. I'd love to get them back. Things like the television and computer games can be replaced over time but the personal information on the laptop is irreplaceable and it's no good to anyone only us.

'We had only transferred all the photos from our phones to the laptop a couple of months back to keep them safe and back them up.'

Barbara said the thieves had other items in the house earmarked to take with a number of items moved onto the table during the robbery to be retrieved after putting the first lot of stolen items in the car. My handbag was moved to the table and a work phone belonging to Nev.

'We obviously disturbed them. I'm a very light sleeper. Since Craig died my own health hasn't been great and as a result I don't sleep very well. I heard stuff being dropped and that's what woke me.

'When the gardai arrived they told me I was either a very brave woman or a silly girl for chasing after them. But I just didn't think. I was so desperate to get our precious pictures. I do think that the driver would have ran me over though if I hadn't gotten out of the way.'

Anyone with any information can contact gardai in Gorey at 053 942 1222

Gorey Guardian

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