Floral tribute to murdered Laura been stolen
A bouquet of pink roses left as a memorial tribute to murdered Paisley woman Laura Donnelly have been nicked by a callous thief.
Yesterday, her heartbroken mum Anne, 61, hit out at the sad person who snatched the flowers from the fence at Ferguslie Cricket Club, close to where the young 22-year-old was brutally raped and killed 11 years ago in an attack that shocked the whole community.
Close to tears, Anne said: “I’m angry, annoyed and upset about this. Why would anyone want to do such a thing? What’s the point?
“Marking the anniversary of Laura’s tragic death is so important to me, all the family and friends.”
Twelve beautiful small pink roses in clear wrapping paper were taped to the fence at the cricket ground on Saturday, July 31 – the anniversary of her tragic death at the hands of evil monster Thomas Brophy.
Anne added: “I hope the person who stole the flowers from the fence of the cricket ground where Laura lost her life feel good about themselves.
“I hope they never have a member of their family murdered.
“It is a hard enough day to get through without the flowers getting stolen.”
Anne said it was heartbreaking enough having to leave flowers for someone you love instead of being able to give them in person without having to cope with the tribute being stolen.
Her son Alan said he was lost for words about the theft but added he was “sickened”.
In 2007 tribute flowers left by Anne on the same fence were ripped to pieces and scattered over the street.
On that occasion is was thought to have been drunken revellers who caused the damage.
Popular Laura’s life was cut short when she was savagely raped and then murdered by Brophy, who was later caged for life for his horrific crime.
She was walking home from a night out on July 31, 1999, when Brophy struck .
Her body was found in long grass on Ferguslie cricket ground, just 150 yards from the family home.
Since then Anne has religiously left flowers on the fence at the cricket ground every birthday, anniversary and festive season.
A friend of the Donnelly family said: “Whoever did this must be sick, it’s a dreadful thing to do.
“The floral tribute means so much to Anne and her husband Archie.
“It’s something they have done since the first anniversary of Laura’s tragic death.”
Vile Brophy, of Lochinver Crescent, Foxbar, Paisley, was caged for life for the murder of Laura at the High Court in Glasgow in March 2000.
Then, in 2003, he was brought back to the High Court because, under new Scottish Executive legislation, prisoners serving a life sentence must be given a ‘punishment tariff’ which sets out the minimum period they must stay in jail before they can be considered for parole.
Later, a decision by appeal court judges allowed Brophy to apply for parole after 16 years of his life sentence, rather than the minimum 20 years originally imposed.
The decision sickened not only the Donnelly family but hundreds of people in the community.
At the time Anne said: “It’s an insult to Laura’s memory.”