A ROW erupted last week when a bereaved mother discovered a mound of soil three feet high dumped on her daughter’s grave.
Jenny Meats, 64, was ‘disgusted’ at the sight that greeted her in Blacon Cemetery as she paid a visit to the final resting place of daughter Julie King on September 6.
Police were called when Mrs Meats’ 19-year-old grandson began shouting at grounds staff who were preparing the plot next to Julie’s for a burial the next day.
Mrs Meats, whose daughter Julie died of pneumonia aged 42 in December 2005, said: ‘It’s disgusting. They took the vases away and put a plank over Julie’s grave.
‘I tried to shovel the soil off but couldn’t. I bought that plot so I own it. If someone threw soil into your garden, how would you feel?
‘There’s a field in front of the graves so the soil could have been put there.’
A city council spokesperson said it is normal procedure to store soil on adjacent graves: ‘The council has great sympathy for the bereaved family but has complete confidence in the way that its staff handled themselves and this incident.
‘The council tried to discuss the matter, but grounds staff were verbally abused and received violent threats so the police had to be called. This extreme behaviour left a number of employees very distressed and prevented them from responding to the family’s concerns.
‘Great care was taken to protect the grave and the adjacent plot was prepared following procedures which mirror standard practices throughout the country.
‘Due to the close proximity of the new plot, the council placed floral tributes behind the wooden cross so that they weren’t damaged by the earth being removed and also protected the cross and grave with ply-boards.
‘This short-term action is always carried out with the greatest of respect and as soon as a burial has taken place, nearby graves are immediately tidied and tributes returned to their original place.
‘The council is compassionate to the family’s situation but is very disturbed that the peace and respect for those who have been laid to rest was disrupted in such an unprecedented and worrying manner.’
But Mrs Meats claims a city council official is to blame for the situation escalating.
‘The boss made matters worse. He was there five minutes before calling the police,’ she said. ‘He started being big and clever.’
A Cheshire police spokeswoman said: ‘At 4.27pm on September 6, a member of staff at Blacon Crematorium called to report that a member of the public seemed agitated.
‘The allegation was that they had been threatened. Patrols spoke to both parties and defused the situation.’