A couple robbed of their precious cactus collection have had some of their plants returned – including their prize eight foot specimen.
David Bancroft, 62, and wife Bridget, 56, spent years building up their prickly exhibits after receiving them as presents from their children and grandchildren.
They were stunned when thieves raided the summer house in their garden in November and made off with all 50 of them.
And they were doubly shocked when the crooks came back a month later and made off with their biggest cactus, an eight-foot whopper.
But last Thursday morning a stranger knocked on their door and told them he had found some of the cacti dumped by a river near their home in Sheerness, Kent.
He returned 13 of the cacti – including their tallest plant – but the rest of the collection have vanished.
Bridget, a care worker, said: “Our big one is all damaged. It’s broken, battered and bruised.
“I don’t know what we are going to do with it. It’s about 6ft now instead of eight and you can see where there are lumps and bumps taken out of it.
“It’s nothing like it was but obviously we are hoping, if we look after it, hopefully it won’t die.”
She said the man who returned them, who gave his name as John, had to use a sack barrow to move the biggest one back to their home in Sheerness, Kent.