Bungling council workmen destroyed a builder’s grave by driving over it – in a JCB digger.
Anthony Heward, 32, was gutted when he went to visit the grave of his late dad David last Monday and discovered it had been flattened with tyre tracks criss-crossing the plot.
Clumsy workmen had also ripped up a rose bush and smashed an ornamental terracotta wall – built to honour the late bricklayer – which surrounds the grave.
Initially Anthony, a builder, thought vandals had attacked the memorial at Bulwell Cemetery, Notts., but staff admitted workmen had damaged it as they dug new graves next to his dad’s plot.
Anthony, from Nottingham, blasted the workmen saying they were disrespecting his dad who died from a short illness four years ago aged 54.
He said: “When I saw what had happened, it just broke me really – my dad’s death hit me quite hard and seeing the grave damaged like this was too much.
“It would probably have hurt less had they dug him up and put him on the top of the grave.
“It’s just disgusting what has happened – seeing the fence that we chose for him all broken up, seeing the tyre marks, it’s just caused us a lot of pain really.
“We built this little brick fence around the grave as a little thing for him – it’s the sort of thing that would have made him smile, like a little joke.
“And seeing it in pieces near the grave is just too much. Driving over the grave just seems disrespectful and disgusting.
“The council’s response was basically one of ‘tough’. My dad’s grave was damaged while they got a digger in place to dig new graves. It’s horrendous.”
Nottingham City Council, which is responsible for the cemetery, apologised for any distress caused to Mr Heward and his family.
A spokesman said: “Nottingham City Council endeavours to ensure that the burial plots of departed loved-ones be treated with dignity and respect.
“Sometimes family members place items near graves that go beyond the boundaries of the agreed plot. However, we try not to be over-zealous in policing this.
“The plot concerned is one of many that have additions that aren’t permitted for these graves as they are within the lawned sections and this is clearly stated in the paperwork that families get.
“This makes it difficult for our teams to gain access with vehicles to excavate new or existing plots.”
He added that the council tries to avoid rearranging items near graves, but when they do, they aim to be as sensitive as possible.
He added: “In the case in question, we had to move an unauthorised surround and then put a board over the remaining part of the plot so that our excavator could drive past.
“Although we have followed the appropriate process, we understand any movement near a relative’s grave can cause upset.
“We apologise for any distress caused and although there are time restraints for us in providing additional burials, we will try to contact families if we need to move unauthorised adornments in the future.”