Grief as grave of girl gets covered with soil
JAMIE Scanlon could not believe his eyes when he found his daughter’s grave piled high with soil.
The 32-year-old from Rodbourne was making his regular visit to the grave of his daughter, schoolgirl Charley May Drewett Scanlon, at Kingsdown Crematorium to find it heaped with soil from the neighbouring plot.
The soil completely obscured the 14-year-old’s grave while another family buried their loved one, despite there being plenty of unused ground behind the row of plots to discard the earth.
All the tributes, flowers and ornaments had been discarded nearby, and left beside Charley’s grave once the neighbouring plot had been filled.
Jamie said: “I couldn’t see where she was buried because they had heaped it all on top of her.
“I came up here to see my daughter and I could see that there was a funeral taking place so I walked along the graves about two rows up so I could go around and not disturb them. But then I realised I had walked too far. And then I realised they had put all the mud from the other grave right on top of her.
“It wouldn’t have mattered if they had put it next to her grave, and there was loads of room behind it as well.
“They then didn’t even put back her things nicely, they just left them next to her grave.”
Charley May Drewett Scanlon’s grave dirtied by a huge pile of soil
Charley, who attended Dorcan Academy, died in January following complications with her life-long battle with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a disease which can alter the development of sexual characteristics as a result of the excessive or deficient production of steroids in the body.
For Charley, it meant that she had to undergo numerous operations and take daily medications in order to handle the disease, which often left her vulnerable to infections.
Charley was rushed to Great Western Hospital where staff tried to help her body fight the infection, but sadly she lost her battle and died on January 13.
When mum Claire Eddolls and grandmother Denice Scanlon heard that the soil had been heaped up onto Charley’s grave they were distraught.
Denice, 51, from Meadowcroft, who visits the grave most days, said: “Sometimes I feel like I don’t want her to be on her own.
“Sometimes I think she is still going to walk into the room. I miss her so much.
“What they did is so disrespectful. My son Jamie was so upset.
“I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
Swindon Council spokesman Kevin Burchall said: “We sympathise with the family concerned but unfortunately Kingsdown has regular burials and, due to the nature of the cemetery, it is sometimes necessary for ground staff to temporarily move items off nearby graves to allow them to access new plots, which is explained in our rules and regulations.
“Our staff are very respectful and always try to ensure that plots are left as undisturbed as possible.”
Since Charley’s funeral the family have been working hard to raise the money for the £4,000 headstone.
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