Bristol mum's heartbreak as baby daughter's memorial trashed in 'act of vandalism'

Laura built the memorial garden five years ago, after her daughter's death. Credit: BPM Media

A mum from Bristol has said she felt “sick to her stomach” after her daughter’s memorial garden was trashed and its centerpiece stolen.

Laura Douglas, 31, from Knowle built a special garden at her own mum's house in memory of her daughter Bella Rose, who sadly passed away when she was just five-weeks-old.

The garden, she says, is incredibly important to her, as it helps her 'take her mind off everything' after the death of her daughter.

But on 29 November, just days before what would have been Bella’s 6th birthday, a light-up unicorn was stolen and the garden trashed in what Laura described as a horrific “act of vandalism.”

Luckily, the damaged unicorn has since been returned, but Laura is keen to raise awareness of the incident which she says “isn’t the first of its kind” in the area.

Laura Douglas Credit: BPM Media

“I’ve had a memorial garden now for five years,” said Laura. “We decided to build it after we lost her. We thought it would be something better than her going to the crematorium.

“I saw the unicorn last year and bought it to make the garden nice and pretty - but the first night it was there, somebody tried to take it.

“Two nights ago, somebody stole it."

The heartbroken mum said the unicorn, along with some other items in the garden were taken. She continued: “The garden was trashed. The person who stole it left behind a small blade they used to cut through the wires.

"We fed all the plugs underneath the fake snow, but they still managed to cut it and take some swans too.

“I was really upset, I was crying all day yesterday. It’s my pride.”

Laura shared the incident on Facebook but after her post was reported, Facebook removed it.

She managed to share her post on other platforms, and eventually a neighbour reached out and shared CCTV footage of someone fleeing the memorial garden with the unicorn.

On Wednesday (1 December), the damaged unicorn was dumped outside Laura’s mum’s house.

Laura is relieved to have the unicorn back, but she says the incident has had alasting effect.

Baby Bella passed away at just five-weeks-old. Credit: BPM Media

“When Bella died, it destroyed me as a person,” she said. “This garden helps me take my mind off everything.

“When I miss her, I go round to her garden and talk to her. I bought the unicorn to try and make it nicer for her.”

Laura said she felt “sick to her stomach” after what happened. She says she will have to find more fake snow and hopes she is able to fix the damaged unicorn.

“It’s broken but hopefully we can still make it work,” she said.