A GRIEVING son is searching for his mum's ashes after thieves stole his pick up from his Askerwell home.

Matt Hart had just collected his late mother's ashes and was planning a trip to Scotland for a memorial service when his truck was stolen on Saturday.

Police found the burnt out vehicle in the lanes between Askerwell and Dottery - but there was no sign of the urn with the mortal remains of Joan Mary Hart.

Since then Mr Hart, who runs Henry Beard's festival caterers and the café at Bridport Arts Centre, has walked up and down the roads to try and find his mum's remains.

He said: "I had just collected my mother's ashes from the funeral director. She was a very old lady with some Dorset connections.

"In the early hours of Saturday morning my pick up was stolen and partially burnt and the wheels stolen. They also took my mother's ashes.

"The truck has now been recovered but her ashes are probably lying somewhere between Askerswell and Dottery where the truck was found.

"I have searched the lanes.

"The theft is one thing but I want my mother's ashes back. She was born in 1914. I was taking her remains up to a memorial service in Scotland where she lived for 15 years and my sister was going to do a service for her up there."

Now Mr Hart wants landowners and farmers to help him.

He said: "She might be over a hedge. I have searched all possible lanes, obviously I haven't been able to look at all the fields between here and Dottery."

Mr Hart's mother's ashes are in a terracotta red container with a black screw lid, saying these are the last remains of Joan Mary Hart, her date of birth, the funeral director's name and the date of the cremation Mr Hart added: "I am only interested in getting her back.

"She had an interesting life. She was a few weeks off 99, she had been through both world wars, she lived in Dorset after my father came back from Dunkirk. She had her first child in the old laying in hospital in Dorchester.

"I am starting to do the hedgeways but there are five or six ways anybody could go to in the middle of the night. They could have been drunk, they could have been joy riding in the pick up before they burnt it."