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'Death threats' to woman over grave charges

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 20, 2014

Connor Upton's grave.

LAWYERS fear for the safety of a woman charged with stealing from the grave of a 21-year-old murder victim after death threats were made on social media sites.

Kylie Eales, of Wood Street, Burton, appeared at the town's magistrates' court yesterday charged with taking sentimental items over a two-month period from the grave of Connor Upton, who was stabbed to death outside a nightclub in 2010.

The 25-year-old did not enter a plea to the charge and is due to stand trial in November. Though she has not been convicted of the offence, solicitors were concerned for her safety after a series of threats were made online.

Magistrates were handed transcripts of Facebook conversations which are believed to have contained messages encouraging reprisals.

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The Mail reported yesterday the extraordinary lengths Connor's mother Yvonne, who lives in Stapenhill, went to in an attempt to catch a thief who had been targeting the burial plot in Stapenhill Cemetery.

She placed a tracking device inside a teddy bear at the graveside in a desperate bid to end the heartache caused by the thefts.

The Crown Prosecution Service did not contest an application for bail, but raised concerns for Eales' safety should the address of where she will be staying until her next hearing be made public.

Emma Thompson, prosecuting, told magistrates: "We have fears for her safety and her protection. Her life or certainly her wellbeing… it jeopardises her safety.

"We do not want to state the address in open court. We feel it is absolutely vital for her safety that the address should not be made public."

Michael Taylor, defending Eales, said: "I would hope that those aggrieved by this offence – the removal of items – will reflect that the law should be able to take its course and due process should be able to take place. My client will be dealt with by a crown court judge eventually."

Magistrates agreed to grant Eales bail, which includes a restriction of not going within 200 yards of Stapenhill Cemetery. She chose to be tried by a jury and is due to appear at Stafford Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on November 24.

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