Sarah Payne memorial statue found

Police believe three individuals were involved in the theft

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The Independent Online

The stolen statue commemorating murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne has been recovered.

Surrey Police confirmed that the 2ft bronze statute, presented to Burhill Primary School in Hersham in memory of the young girl, was been recovered after it was left outside a nearby property.

The mother of Sarah Payne, an eight-year-old child murdered by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting in West Sussex in 2000, had appealed for the statue to be returned.

A member of the public found the statue outside a property in Northfield Road, Cobham, tipping off police, who believe it was left there between 5.15.am and 7.30am this morning.

Three people are believed to have been involved in the theft, police said. A van was sighted in Pleasant Place around the time the statue is thought to have gone missing, police say.

In a statement, Elmbridge Neighbourhood Sergeant Marc Nettleingham appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

“We are continuing to carry out a number of enquiries to identify the offenders responsible for this theft, which is particularly reprehensible given that it was presented to the school in memory of Sarah Payne and the investigation is ongoing,” she added.