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'It's destroyed us': Sisters' anger after mum and dad's grave 'piled' with dirt

PUBLISHED: 14:38 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:05 03 September 2019

Mrs Mallet said:

Mrs Mallet said: "It's not about the grass or the money, it's disrespect." Photo: Joy Mallet

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Two sisters have called a funeral director's treatment of their parents' shared grave 'disrespectful' after seeing it piled with dirt from an adjacent burial.

Marion Haydock, left, and Joy Mallet, right, said: Marion Haydock, left, and Joy Mallet, right, said: "They could have put the dirt elsewhere." Photo: Matthew Nixon

Marion Haydock, 64, and Joy Mallet, 65, visited their parents' grave in Worlingham Cemetery on Monday, September 2, when they saw the dirt on top of it.

Mrs Mallet said: "We go to their grave at least three times a week to visit and I have never seen anything like that.

"I don't know what they're trying to do. It's disrespectful. It destroyed us."

The sisters said a burial was being prepared for the grave directly next to their parents', and couldn't understand why the earth was not piled somewhere else.

Rosedale Funeral Directors said this was 'common practice' for when a grave was re-opened. Photo: Joy MalletRosedale Funeral Directors said this was 'common practice' for when a grave was re-opened. Photo: Joy Mallet

Mrs Mallet said: "I know our parents have a big grave, but they could have put it elsewhere. We went up to water the grass, trying to keep it nice for everything.

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"For them to chuck the dirt over it, it's utterly disrespectful."

Rosedale Funeral Directors, who manage the site, said they try to avoid piling earth on graves, but when re-opening a grave this was "common practice."

Company director Anne Beckett-Allen said: "In a cemetery or churchyard, when you prepare a new grave you move along in lines so you always face where the next spot is going to go.

"When you prepare a new grave it's not an issue, but when you re-open a grave after a period of time, there's no spare space next to it to put the earth. It's common practice."

Mrs Beckett-Allen said she has been in the profession for 25 years and has never seen it done differently.

She said: "Overall you cause less damage to the cemetery than you would cause using a wheelbarrow. Once the burial has taken place the grave will be left immaculate or improved."

But for Mrs Mallet and Mrs Haydock: "It's not the damage that's worried us, it's the disrespect. I don't want this to happen to anyone else."

Mrs Beckett-Allen added: "We're really sorry for any distress that's been caused and we hope they accept that, I absolutely sympathise with them. We would never want to cause despair."

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