A callous thief has admitted stealing a laptop from a grieving father while he was at the funeral of his six-year-old son. The laptop, belonging to Norris Martin, was taken from the Pentecostal City Church in Scrubbs Lane, Willesden, on 2 November after it had been used to show mourners photographs of the boy's life.
The funeral, attended by staff from Great Ormond Street and Northwick Park hospitals, was for Norris Tashan-Javan Martin, also known as TJ. The young boy had been born with a rare immune disease known as Candle Syndrome.
After the funeral service finished, mourners left the church at about 1pm to go Kensal Rise for the burial ceremony. When they returned to the church, they discovered the laptop had been stolen.
Franklyn Mathurin, 47, of no fixed address, was arrested on 28 November after CCTV footage showed him chatting with a receptionist before entering the church hall and putting the laptop in a carrier bag. He pleaded guilty to the theft at Harrow Crown Court on 14 December and has been remanded in custody to be sentenced on 12 January at the same court.
The laptop taken has still not been recovered and the family say pictures of the young boy on the laptop had not been stored anywhere else.
Pat Martin, mother of TJ, told Press Association at the time: "It's as important as life itself that we get the laptop back. Unfortunately, TJ's life is no longer, he's been taken from us, and that laptop has all of our memories of him, short of what we hold in our hearts."
A police spokesman said: "The computer taken was a HP laptop serial number 8CG42003G6. It has still not been recovered and anyone with information on its whereabouts is asked to call Hammersmith and Fulham CID on 020 8246 2505 or to remain anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."