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Crazy world: Burglar who stole war hero’s ashes offers to let family beat him up

By -The mETRO | November 13th 2013
Callous burglar James Greenwood offered to take a ‘good beating’ after he was jailed for stealing the ashes of a war veteran (Picture: Cavendish)

A remorseful burglar who stole the ashes of a World War II veteran has written to his victim offering his relatives the chance to ‘give him a good beating’.

James Greenwood, 43, was jailed for 20 months after admitting breaking into the home of Claire Wynn, 37, while she was on holiday in Turkey.

He accidentally took the last remains of her grandfather John Clarkson, 91, before dumping them in a bin in a panic.

Jailing him at Burnley crown court on Monday, recorder Geoffrey Lowe said: ‘For those involved, the distress you have caused cannot be measured.’

The distraught family told police it was as if they ‘had to mourn their grandfather for a second time’, as a result of the burglary in Brownhill Avenue, Burnley.

The ashes of 91-year-old World War II veteran John Clarkson were stolen (Picture: Cavendish)

Drug addict Greenwood also took a photograph of Mr Clarkson, his death certificate and a watch belonging to Ms Wynn’s late grandmother.

Ms Wynn, 37, said: ‘No court in the country would send him to prison for as long as he deserves – because what he did to my family was unforgivable.

‘It was a disgusting crime. For him to offer amends by taking a beating was the final insult. We don’t want to hear from him at all.

‘It has been an awful time for us. The sentencing was on Remembrance Day, which is also my mother’s birthday. It was so upsetting.’

The ashes are now lost after staff at local landfill site spent two days searching for the mahogany casket they were being kept in.

Adapted from The Metro

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