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Daughter accuses St Mary’s Cemetery staff in Kensal Green of desecrating her mother’s grave

PUBLISHED: 19:47 12 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:13 16 December 2014

The grave after the flowers were torn out

The grave after the flowers were torn out

Archant

A grieving daughter has accused cemetery staff of desecrating her mother’s grave after they ripped out flowers she planted in her memory.

Susan Cullen at her mother and brother's grave (Pic credit: Angela Blake)Susan Cullen at her mother and brother's grave (Pic credit: Angela Blake)

Susan Cullen, from Foxholt Gardens, slammed workers at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery on Harrow Road calling their behaviour ‘heartless’ after they threw away the plants with no warning.

She said: “I planted a load of things in May and fertilised them all and they put clay on top of it. So I started again and they ripped the whole thing out without a word. Nothing was said at all. Why couldn’t they have contacted me at the very beginning?

“There’s nothing on their website that says you can’t do it. If they’d told me at the start I wouldn’t have spent so much time redoing it.

“I’m very distraught, hurt and heartbroken by their attitude.”

Ms Cullen’s mother Stella died from cancer in April and was laid to rest with her son who was electrocuted at the age of 20 in the privately-run burial ground.

She said she decided to add the plants as she saw other graves close by with flowers and ‘huge memorials’.

“Mum loved flowers so I spent hours and hours just doing part of it,” she added.

“I wanted it to be all nice and pretty.

“I wouldn’t have worked so hard on it if I’d known they’d turf it over like they did.”

Anna Humphrey, superintendent of the cemetery, said the grave is in a lawn section so only headstones are permitted.

Adding she sent Ms Cullen in an email in October informing her of the rules, she said: “We did offer for her to come and see us but she declined.

“The offer still stands as we would be willing to compensate the cost of the plants she lost.”

In October, Brent Council were forced to apologise to the parents of tragic twins Arron and Anton Payne after diggers in Alperton Cemetery left their grave covered in a mountain of soil after ripping out plants and throwing aside flowers and ornaments left by their loved ones.

A wooden cross inscribed with the brothers’ names was also hurled on to a nearby grave.

Antone lost his battle with cancer at the age of 13 in 1999 and Arron was stabbed to death in Wembley in 2012 aged 26.

Related link: Parents claim Brent Council desecrated their twin sons’ grave


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