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Cemetery mess ruins family's Mother's Day
8:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
BEREAVED families were dismayed to find a graveyard desecrated as they visited loved ones’ graves on Mother’s Day.
Visitors to the Wharf Road Cemetery, in Stanford-le-Hope, were greeted by a huge mound of earth from a freshly dug grave dumped on top of other plots as well as damage to the nearby graves.
The mud was heaped on top of the grave of an 81-year-old man – the anniversary of his death was March 11.
Russell Quirk visited his mother Jenny Twydell’s grave with his three young daughters, Rosie, Kaia and Lilly.
He said: “We do this every Mothering Sunday. However, my daughters and sister were upset by the state of the surroundings to the grave itself, where cemetery staff had seemingly dug out the adjacent plot and tipped the earth over the entire area, including covering other graves and head stones in earth.
“I understand graves must be dug at all times of the year and the earth has to be gathered somewhere.
"Yet in this instance the mud was slung everywhere with little care of respect to the surroundings. On such a sensitive day, that is inexcusable.”
A partially-covered hole was also left without any warning signs or proper protection.
Mr Quirk added: “My daughters are three and four-years-old. The hole was left partially uncovered and could have easily led to them falling into a 6ft, waterlogged pit.
“It does not take much for a youngster to run off for a brief moment and come to harm under such circumstances.”
A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “An officer will be visiting the site today to assess the situation, but the council apologises for the distress caused.
“The council is reviewing its processes and procedures to try to ensure this cannot happen again.
“In this instance the grave was prepared on Friday evening, but due to adverse weather it collapsed to one side over the weekend.”