Sarah Payne memorial statue stolen from her former school

The eight-year-old was murdered by paedophile, Roy Whiting, in 2000

A bronze statue of a young girl given to Sarah Payne’s former school in memory of the eight-year-old murder victim has been stolen.

Sarah’s mother, Dr Sara Payne, issued a plea for help in recovering the 2ft-high statue that stood outside Burhill County Primary School in Hersham, Surrey.

“I implore the public to help me and the police bring my Sarah’s memorial statue back where it belongs,” Dr Payne said.

Sarah was kidnapped and murdered by a paedophile, Roy Whiting, in 2000 when she was 8-years-old. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2001. Sarah’s death led to the introduction of “Sarah’s Law”, under which parents, carers and guardians can ask the police if someone has a record of child sex offences.

The statue is believed to have been stolen at around 1am yesterday by three people, Surrey Police said. A van was seen in the area around the school in Pleasant Place at the time.

Sgt Marc Nettleingham said: “We are carrying out a number of inquiries 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.

“I am appealing to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the offence, or with any other information, to come forward straight away.”