A family from Ribbleton have spoken of their heartbreak after they discovered a pile of earth had been dumped on the grave of their relative.
Wayne Newsham, of Chestnut Crescent, was visiting his father’s grave at Preston Cemetery with his mother, sister and niece on Remembrance Sunday, when they made the discovery. He said: “We were visiting on Remembrance Sunday because the day is particularly poignant to my dad. It was the last time he went out because it the last thing he wanted to do was see a service. It was really important to him to pay his respects.”
When the family arrived at the grave side, they discovered a mound of earth from a nearby grave had been dug out and left on top.
Wayne said: “My mum fell to her knees when she saw what had happened. It just showed a complete lack of respect - you could even see the marks where they had trampled over the grave. He added: “I wouldn’t mind but there was a patch of empty grass 20 or 30 feet away that they could have dumped it on.”
It is the second time such an incident has happened in less than a year since 67-year-old former BAE worker John died after suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Wayne said his mum was heartbroken and sentimental items left by grandchildren had gone missing.
A council spokesman said: “It is standard practice in working cemeteries to keep the soil on top of the neighbouring grave plot, on a board and covered. In this instance, the soil wasn’t placed on the plot on the other side as the same family have another family member interred there. It had been a special request from that family not to place any soil there as other family members would be paying their respects. We are sorry that this situation caused upset and distress to Mr Newsham and his family.”