Council chiefs have been forced to apologise to a grieving family after bungling workmen left a full SKIP on their father’s grave.
Paula Roberts, 44, also found ornaments and vases smashed when she visited the cemetery where her dad Alan is buried.
Pictures taken at the scene show a large skip full of earth covering the plot at Northop Road Cemetery, Flint, North Wales.
Bizarrely, the council said the skip – or soil box – was placed where it was for “health and safety” reasons.
Retired delivery driver Alan, 75, died last November after losing a cancer battle.
The family are still waiting for a headstone to be placed on the grave but they lay flowers and ornaments on the burial plot every week.
But last Friday (21/6) Paula and her mum Betty, 69, were horrified when they discovered the skip on the memorial.
Paula, who runs a hair salon, said: “We had been up to the cemetery on Father’s Day and put down fresh flowers.
“I took my mum up to see the grave days later and as we were walking towards it I said I can’t see the balloon we attached to the grave the week before.
“I thought it must have blown away and my mum ‘what the hell’s that?’
“As we got closer, I could see this big skip type container on top of my dad’s grave.
“All the vases and ornaments and gifts we’d placed on the grave on Father’s Day were smashed up.
“My mum was just hysterical, I haven’t seen her cry that much since my dad passed away.
“The workmen had literally picked up the gifts and flowers we had placed by the grave and thrown everything into the mud.
“I phoned up the council and a lady said it must have been due to health and safety reasons, I said there is no reason that should be on my dad’s grave.
“There are just no words to describe how upsetting this has been. It’s just totally disrespectful and disgusting.
“As a young child, if you go the cemetery, you’re always like don’t step on the graves, don’t step on the graves.
“I got a response from the council saying they would send a form out to pay for the damage.
“It’s the workers job to look after the graves not destroy them, it’s criminal damage.”
Flintshire County Council have apologised to the family and have agreed to pay for any damage caused.
Spokesperson Steve Jones said: “The item referred to as a skip was in fact a soil box, which is used to temporarily store the material excavated during the preparation of new graves, when they are in close proximity to other existing graves.
“They are constructed on legs that keep the bottom of the box, at least 300mm above the surface, in order that no damage is caused to the grave underneath and are used only when there is no room available to store the excavated material.
“In this case, there was sufficient space to store the excavated material away from existing graves and the box should not have been used.
“Lessons will be learnt from the case and adopted to avoid a repeat occurrence.”