I was horrified to find a council skip dumped over my dad’s grave… I broke down

I was horrified to find a council skip dumped over my dad’s grave… I broke down

April 12, 2022

A GRIEVING son was left horrified after discovering the council had dumped a SKIP on top of his father's grave – trashing the cherished resting place.

Niall Terrell told how he "broke down" the moment he saw the grave "covered and trashed" and entirely obscured by the large soil box.

The painter and decorator, who lost his father Edward to throat cancer, was also left heartbroken to see cherished photographs on the grave had been badly damaged.

Shocking pictures at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton, Hampshire, show the heart-breaking devastation the shameless actions had caused.

The council appear to have smashed a personalised Southampton F.C. tribute slate and knocked over all the flowers at the grave.

They hadn't even bothered to pick them up or even tell Niall of the horrific damage they had caused.

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The boxes are used in cemeteries to hold soil when new graves are being excavated.

The local authority has since apologised to Mr Terrell, 47, who visits the grave every Sunday after losing his father 23-years-ago aged 47.

But Mr Terrell criticised the council for placing it on top of his father's resting place without telling him.

The council had asked Mr Terrell and his family to remove a small fence around the site, but when they visited the following day to take it down, it was covered by the monstrous box.


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Mr Terrell, from Southampton, said: “I am not a very emotional man, but seeing his grave like that, I just broke down.

“There is a slate on the grave with a picture of St Mary’s Stadium on it which my friends had done for us and that has been broken.

“I visited his grave on March 27 and it wasn’t broken, so it must’ve been when they were doing these works.

“We are not the richest family in the world but we do try to keep his grave nice.

“I know that they will have to dig other graves but I don’t understand why the skips have to be on the graves. Can the workmen not be bothered to walk an extra 4ft?

“The grief and pain it has caused my family, it’s not fair. Graves should not be covered at all. (The council) don’t seem to have any compassion.”

He said once the huge box had been removed, his dad’s grave was left “in a shambles” and that the incident caused his family “heartache and grief”.

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said staff have apologised to the family ‘for any distress caused’ and since updated their policies.

They said: “We have apologised to the family for any distress caused and updated our procedures to ensure that in the future family members are informed when an excavation is due to happen.”

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The council said rules on its website show when excavations are due to take place and the rules are “communicated to family members”.

The spokesperson said the soil box was industry standard and its operatives “make every effort to clean the area and return unauthorised graveside memorabilia, as was the case on this occasion”.

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