Widow, 71, caught taking flowers from child’s grave

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A 71-year-old widow has been fined for stealing flowers from a child’s grave after being reported to police by her daughter.

Berta Manzanero, of Green Lane, Dagenham, east London, pleaded guilty to stealing four flower pots worth £15 from the graves of relatives of Stephen Rose in Rippleside Cemetery, Barking, last month.

The floral tributes were taken from the graves of Mr Rose’s aunt and cousin, Redbridge Magistrates’ Court heard. The cousin died as a child in the 1980s. Manzanero was arrested after her 39-year-old daughter recognised her picture in media reports and called police.

Ellen Warner, prosecuting, said: “Mr Rose’s family noticed flowers had gone missing from the graves over 18 months and had CCTV put in place.

“When viewed, they showed a white woman bend down and pick up a quantity of flowers and plants, put them into her bag and carry them off.

Manzanero was fined £300, plus £30 costs and compensation, having admitted one count of theft.