Daughter’s fury at rubble grave

Michelle Hall with some of the rubble she discovered whilst cleaning up her dad's grave in Bishopwearmouth cemetery.

Michelle Hall with some of the rubble she discovered whilst cleaning up her dad's grave in Bishopwearmouth cemetery.

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A DAUGHTER was disgusted to discover her dad’s grave had been filled in with rubble.

Michelle Hall, 40, said she was outraged when she made the find while clearing up Albert Graham Bone’s grave.

As she was removing some weeds from around the grave, she found huge boulders and bits of rubble under the topsoil used to fill in the hole at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery.

The Tesco Express worker said: “I was just tidying up a bit because I wasn’t able to get down on Father’s Day and I was doing a bit of digging just below the surface when I found a huge block of rubble.

“I started trying to move it but it was a huge size and there seemed to be loads more underneath them.

“I’m not very happy to think my dad’s grave is covered with rubble.

“It’s disgraceful really and is disrespecting him if you ask me.”

Mr Bone, 61, died on February 6, 2003, and Mrs Hall has visited his grave regularly.

But it wasn’t until her visit last week that she noticed the rubble.

She has complained to Sunderland City Council, which looks after the site, and is calling on them to remove it and replace it with soil.

But council bosses said it is their policy to fill in graves with what was removed to make the hole – the cemetery is set on a former mineral line.

“I don’t know whether someone’s just been lazy and not bothered to fill it in with soil, but that’s what you’d expect it to be filled with,” said Mrs Hall, of Fence Houses.

“I know there’s more in there because I carried on digging and hit a big block.

“I had to stop because if I’d carried on it would have lifted up the angel that’s there.

“I want as much of the rubble as possible to be removed and if the council can to fill it in with soil because it’s just not very nice.”

Les Clark, Sunderland City Council’s head of street scene, said: “We are sorry if Mrs Hall has concerns about her father’s grave and would ask her to contact us directly to discuss these.

“We work hard with bereaved families to ensure that our cemeteries provide a caring and respectful setting for those visiting their loved ones.

“Only material removed from a grave when it is being prepared is returned to it after interment.

“All our cemeteries are carefully landscaped and use the natural composition of the land.

“The material in all graves inevitably reflects the ground on which the cemetery is situated.”