A FUNDRAISER has spoken of her family's devastation after their home was burgled as she led a charity event helping cancer sufferers.
Claire Ashbrook had been busy since September organising a Cancer Research UK money-making event in Saltney. The event was inspired by her mother in law, who lost her battle with the disease earlier this year.
But she returned home from the event on Saturday to find her home had been raided and a laptop and mobile phone had been taken.
“I was devastated,” said Mrs Ashbrook, “especially when I had been at an event raising money for a good cause.”
Mrs Ashbrook's teenage son Joe had been upstairs in the house when the thieves sneaked in.
He had no idea the intruders were downstairs, and Mrs Ashbrook said she fears what may have happened to him if he had caught the thieves in the act.
She said she no longer feels safe in her home in Victoria Road, near where the fundraising event took place, and fears the thieves could strike again, believing it may have been a personal attack.
“I am gutted about the theft and upset about the invasion in our home,” said the 41-year-old mother of six.
“Now I don't feel safe in my own home. Who is to say the thieves won’t come back?
“I have never experienced anything like this before and I am distraught.
“It has devastated us and I don’t know what might have happened if my son had come downstairs and found thieves in the house.
“The thought of someone coming into our home is frightening.”
Joe, 17, had returned home from work when he felt ill and had no idea intruders had entered the family home through an unlocked door as he rested upstairs.
The laptop and a mobile phone belonging to Mrs Ashbrook's daughter were taken from the living room by the thieves.
Mrs Ashbrook said: “Fortunately our Christmas presents were all in another part of the house otherwise Christmas could have been completely ruined.”
Mrs Ashbrook’s mother-in-law died earlier this year.
The event, which included stalls, princess lessons, a Christmas fair, a visit from Santa and live reindeer, was held at the Saltney Tavern and raised more than £600 for the charity.
“It had been a brilliant day - fabulous, but to discover what had happened afterwards was unbelievable,” Mrs Ashbrook said.
“The event had been advertised and it is hard not to think of this as a personal attack.”
North Wales Police spokesman, Michael McGivern said: “We received a call at 1.30pm about a burglary at a house on Victoria Road in Saltney.
“The offender entered the property through an unlocked back door.”