Society

Thief James Greenwood Asks Family Of War Vet Whose Ashes He Stole To GIve Him "A Good Beating"

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It really is too bad that criminals don’t get to choose their own punishments, sometimes.

A burglar in Burnely, England, came up with an interesting suggestion for how he might be punished for a bizarre and petty crime that he carried out at the home of Claire Wynn and her family recently.

The Wynns were out of town on a holiday, but when they returned to their Burnley home, in the northern county of Lancashire, they found that someone had turned the place upside-down. Numerous valuables were missing. They included iPads and other electronics, a digital camera, even a soccer ball signed by players from the local team.

But the most important missing item, the one that could never be replaced, was a container holding the ashes of Wynn’s grandfather, John Clarkson. The World War II veteran had passed away last January just two days after his 91st birthday.

What’s worse, when police tracked down the burglar, a 43-year-old drug addict, also from Burnley, named James Greenwood, he admitted that when he realized what he’d stolen, instead of attempting to return the ashes to the family, he tossed them in a trash bin.

The trash has since been collected and the ashes are likely lost forever.

Sentenced to 20 months in prison, Greenwood (pictured) felt that he was not going to suffer enough for his crime. He wrote a letter to Claire Wynn apologizing — and adding that when he gets out of jail, he would gladly submit to “a good beating” from the relatives of the deceased war veteran.

For his troubles, Greewood was hit with a five-year restraining order, forbidding him from getting in touch with the family.

Wynn, a 37-year-old hairdresser, was without sympathy.

"It was a disgusting crime and I am disgusted with him,” she said. “For him to offer amends by taking a beating was the final insult. We don't want to hear from him at all.”

SOURCES: Daily Mirror, Lancashire Telegraph