Dying woman's diamond ring stolen from her finger in final moments at hospice

65-year-old cancer sufferer's son brands thief 'absolute scum'

A dying woman had her diamond ring stolen from her finger in the final moments of her life at a hospice, her son said.

A thief took the gold band - a gift to Wendy Dolton from her late husband - while she lay in Pilgrim's Hospice in London Road, Canterbury, Kent.

The "vile and despicable" theft took place between 6pm on February 13 and 6pm the following day, when Mrs Dolton died aged 65 following a battle with cancer.

Relatives are outraged because of her helpless state and because the ring had been a 40th wedding anniversary present from her late husband nine years ago.

Her son Sean, 46, said today: "It's a violation of morality that is just unbelievable. I'm speechless. Whoever did this is absolute scum.

"I saw her at about 6pm on the Wednesday and she had it on and she died at around 5pm on the Thursday. I feel sick to know that someone could do that in the last hours of her life.

"It's not just any ring. It was a 40th anniversary present from my father in the last months of his life, so the value is hugely sentimental.

"The fact that someone could do that to someone when they are at their most vulnerable is unbelievable. She would have been lying there and unable to do anything."

Pc Chris Poulter, of Kent Police, who is investigating the theft, said: "The theft of the ring has caused a great deal of upset for Wendy's family at a time when they are already trying to cope with her sad passing.

"Pilgrim's Hospice has been fully co-operative and our investigation continues. We have already visited some second-hand shops and will continue to make inquiries."

Anyone with information about the theft of the ring, described as a gold band with a large square diamond, is asked to call Kent Police on 101.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power