Anger after Sunderland council workers drive vehicles over grave and leave ‘trail of destruction’

George Rowe, Sarah Patterson and son Oliver with her sister Jayde Scott and her som Tommy Phillips Lusby at Grangetown Cemetery.
George Rowe, Sarah Patterson and son Oliver with her sister Jayde Scott and her som Tommy Phillips Lusby at Grangetown Cemetery.
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A family say they have been left disgusted after the grave of a relative was left strewn with tyre tracks after council workers drove vehicles over it.

Jayde Scott went with her sister and mum to Grangetown Cemetery to visit the resting place of her great-grandmother Margaret Ann Thompson, who passed away more than 20 years ago.

To their horror, the family saw a “trail of destruction” left at the site, with tyre marks across the grave as well as tiles knocked over.

They are now calling for an apology from the council, whose head of city services has slammed the actions as “totally unacceptable”.

He has also apologised to those affected and said inquiries will be carried out to how the incident was allowed to occur.

Jayde today spoke of her and the family’s horror at seeing the destruction.

It’s hard enough to go to a cemetery on a good day when you’re seeing family who are longer here, but when the graves are left like that it doesn’t help at all.

Jayde Scott

“This is absolutely disgusting and something that is happening too often,” said Jayde, 24, who was visiting with her son Tommy, one, and sister Sarah Patterson, 26, who was with her son Oliver, one.

“Whatever it is has been driven along the full row.

“I’ve visited a number of different cemeteries and they are never like that.

“It’s not what should be happening.”

Pictured only a few metres from the damaged graves in Grangetown Cemetery are sections of rubber mats that are supposed to be used to drive over.

Pictured only a few metres from the damaged graves in Grangetown Cemetery are sections of rubber mats that are supposed to be used to drive over.

The family claim a similar incident happened a number of months ago and despite it being reported to the council, nothing was done.

They are now calling for a full apology from the council for what has happened.

“It’s very upsetting,” added Jayde, from Marley Pots, who works at St Mark’s Nursing Home in Millfield.

“It’s hard enough to go to a cemetery on a good day when you’re seeing family here, but when the graves are left like that it doesn’t help at all.”

Councillor Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland City Council, said: “I am extremely angry about the damage that has been caused to these graves and would like to apologise to the families, who, like me, have relations buried there.

“Families can rest assured that I will be making enquires with senior managers as to how something like this has been allowed to happen – it is totally unacceptable.”