Anger over ‘dumping’ of soil over Leeds mum’s grave

The grave after it was covered with soil
The grave after it was covered with soil
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a bereaved dad has criticised council workers who dumped mounds of soil on his wife’s grave.

Paul Wheatley says his 10-year-old son Kian was left distressed after mum Donna’s grave was covered.

He said: “It’s disgraceful.”

Mrs Wheatley died aged 37 earlier this year, six days after she married long-term partner Paul on a Leeds hospital ward.

Leeds City Council promised to take action after the YEP intervened following the incident with her grave.

Mrs Wheatley, from Bramley, Leeds, died in May and is buried at Armley Hill Top Cemetery, but when Mr Wheatley visited last Friday, he was shocked to see earth from a newly-dug grave had been dumped on top of hers.

“I couldn’t believe they’d done it,” he said.

“Me and my son had planted rose bushes, and they’d pulled all the plants up.”

Mr Wheatley says he was told by a council worker that they were “too short-staffed” to leave the earth on unoccupied ground nearby.

After being contacted by the YEP, council workers made some improvements to the grave, though the soil was left over the weekend ahead of a burial on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said a manager had personally apologised and reassured him that the grave would be reinstated as soon as possible.

“We sincerely apologise to Mr Wheatley for any distress our work has caused. Unfortunately when we have to open a grave we must lay the excess soil on nearby graves – although they are always protected with boards. Any flowers or plants are carefully removed and then reinstated as soon as possible afterwards.”

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