Grave damaged

Belinda Ruckledge at the grave of her son, Danny, who died two weeks ago, aged 24, to find it badly damaged by work on a neighbouring plot. With daughter Shelby

Belinda Ruckledge at the grave of her son, Danny, who died two weeks ago, aged 24, to find it badly damaged by work on a neighbouring plot. With daughter Shelby

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A MUM was left distraught after grave decorations in tribute to her son were damaged.

Belinda Ruckledge claims a fence and lanterns around the grave of her son Danny Jones, who died in March aged 24, were bent and uprooted at the plot at Ferrybridge Cemetery.

Mrs Ruckledge said council workers working on a neighbouring plot caused the damage, which the family discovered last Wednesday.

Wakefield Council has since apologised and met the family to help repair the decorations.

After finding the damage, Mrs Ruckledge, 47, said: “This is totally disrespectful. It’s not about the money, but we spent a lot on it and we found it trashed.”

Mr Jones, who had health problems all his life, died on March 19.

Mrs Ruckledge, of Shelley Drive, Ferrybridge, said the family was heartbroken.

When she complained to the council about the damage, she said she was told she was not allowed to install a fence and lights around the plot.

Mrs Ruckledge said she had not been not aware of this but would have been happy to alter the decorations.

She added: “I’m not disputing that. But they have got my contact details and could have just called me to tell me. I would have moved it if they contacted me.”

Mrs Ruckledge said there was more damage to the decorations when she visited the grave again on Thursday.

She added: “We’ve had to buy new fencing and the lanterns are all bent.

“We’ve not even come to terms with Danny’s death yet.”

The council said it was working with the family to help restore the grave.

Glynn Humphries, the council’s service director with responsibility for cemeteries, said: “We are sorry for any distress caused, particularly so soon after the funeral.

“We will be meeting the family to explain that so others can be laid to rest, we do need to excavate from time to time, which can affect adjoining graves.

“We are working as quickly as possible to reinstate Daniel’s grave.”

The council said graves were sometimes covered while a neighbouring plot was being dug.

Mr Humphries added: “While we do make owners of graves aware of the possibility of them being affected when other graves are prepared when they receive the deeds they have purchased, we also appreciate that the covering of a grave may cause distress and so keep the time a grave is covered to a minimum.”