Widow's hearbreak as grave where husband's ashes are scattered is 'gouged' by lawnmower (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Council apology after grave is damaged in Idle churchyard by accident
11:00am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
A heartbroken widow burst into tears when she discovered a lawnmower had “gouged” the grave where her husband’s ashes are scattered.
Noelene Horsfield said she was “absolutely devastated” when she saw the damage in the Bradford Council-maintained graveyard at Holy Trinity Church in Idle.
The 63-year-old said a gnome, lamp and plants were all destroyed. The plants had only been placed on the grave by Mrs Horsfield a feew days before.
“They have been right over the plot and gouged it,” said Mrs Horsfield. “They have gone right over the middle of it and crushed the gnome and the lamp and ripped the plants up.
“It is all vandalised – I was absolutely devastated when I saw it. I just could not believe it. I burst into tears – I was heartbroken.”
The ashes of Mrs Horsfield’s husband Roger were scattered on the grave following his death, aged 61, in July 2010. His father Caleb is buried in the grave.
“I go to the grave two or three times a week,” said Mrs Horsfield, of Park Road, Idle. “I keep it tidy and I put plants down to make it look nice. ”
The grave plot was the only one damaged, said the Reverend Robin Gamble, the vicar of Holy Trinity.
He said: “I am really sorry for Mrs Horsfield. We have been in touch with her and we are doing all we can to remedy the situation.But it is a very difficult job the Council has to do. They are good fellows – it will have been a complete accident.”
John Scholefield, bereavement and amenity manager at the Council, said: “We are very sorry for any distress that has been caused to Mrs Horsfield. It appears an accident occurred when, due to the wet ground conditions, the grass-cutting machine slipped and knocked over the small fence that borders the plot, but the operative put it back up immediately. We are looking into claims about a damaged gnome and lamp and will get in touch with her directly.”