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Grieving relatives demand apology from Council over plot covered in earth
A grieving family, who were left heartbroken after grave diggers dumped soil on their relative’s grave, have demanded an apology.
Susan Cogan said she was disgusted when a family friend warned her what to expect when she next visited her sister Debbie Cogan’s grave at Scholemoor at the weekend.
“They’d buried someone next to her but just chucked all the earth on top of her grave. All the little trinkets and planters we had keeping it tidy and beautiful were just strewn everywhere.
“We’re heartbroken. Why would they do this? There was just grass on the other side of the new grave. Why didn’t they put the earth there?”
Antonio Smith, Bradford Council’s bereavement services manager, said there was every sympathy with any family who finds the grave of a loved one covered in earth from an adjacent excavation but it is mentioned in information supplied to everyone who buys a plot that this can happen sometimes.
“To remove the soil away from the grave plots and bring it back after the funeral service would be a very expensive operation and force a sharp and unwanted increase in the fees we charge.
“We will, however, investigate what has happened here and take the issue up with our contractors. The family is welcome to contact us if they wish to discuss this further,” he added.
Miss Cogan, who was 45, died in March this year after an earache she had for six months turned out to be a rare cancer which spread through her skull to her brain – her sister gave up work to look after her at home in Bell Dean, Allerton.
Miss Cogan had been so shocked by the diagnosis that she refused to believe she was terminally ill and had put up a brave fight to battle the disease.
More than 300 people had attended the mother-of-three’s funeral at St Williams’s Church, Girlington – she was a qualified security officer for pubs and clubs as well as a fitness instructor and had just started a job as a classroom assistant when she was diagnosed.
Instead of floral tributes at her funeral, her family had designed a herb garden for her grave and money was being collected to go towards a headstone.
Miss Cogan, who had support from the Hospice at Home team, left sons Joel, nine, and Stevie, 12, who now live with their 23-year-old sister Sinead and her two children.
Miss Cogan’s sister, Susan, said: “What’s happened to Debbie’s grave is just disrespectful. Mum is absolutely distraught. We’ve been going up twice a week, mum does the planters to keep it pretty – this has knocked her hard. We want an apology.”