Presents cleared from burial plot

PUBLISHED: 14:01 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

Weston Crematorium. Jody Cowell next to her brother's grave - Crem cleared it without telling her. Hundreds of pounds of stuff taken. 
19-1-10

Weston Crematorium. Jody Cowell next to her brother's grave - Crem cleared it without telling her. Hundreds of pounds of stuff taken. 19-1-10

Copyright Archant Ltd

A MOURNING woman was told to rummage in a skip for valuable ornaments after crematorium staff removed them from her brother's grave.

A MOURNING woman was told to rummage in a skip for valuable ornaments after crematorium staff removed them from her brother's grave.

Jody Cowell, who lives on Weston's Oldmixon estate, was furious when she discovered a £180 green-leaf motorbike and two crystal ornaments had been thrown out by Weston Crematorium staff.

The 29-year-old said: "My brother only died in December so we are all still grieving.

"I have been visiting his stone every day, but I couldn't make it on Monday.

"On Tuesday I arrived and crystal ornaments of a star and an angel and a motorbike green-leaf had gone.

"There were also flowers there, which I admit had died and could be thrown away, but the other stuff was very expensive.

"When I asked staff about it they were very abrupt and said I could rummage in a skip if I wanted to find the items.

"I did for a little bit, but it was big so I could only reach the top."

Jody's brother Stephen Cowell died aged 31 after he took his own life at his Coronation estate home.

Now Jody, who lives in Monkton Avenue, says the bouquet of flowers offered as compensation is not enough.

She added: "They offered to pay for the crystal items too but they are irreplaceable to me.

"The fact staff showed no remorse at all and spoke to me in a nasty way is unforgivable."

A spokesman for North Somerset Council, which owns the Ebdon Road site, said: "Flowers have been removed because they looked blackened and dead due to the recent winter weather.

"Our staff do their utmost to deal with these issues as sensitively as possible in what can be understandably emotionally-charged circumstances but we also need to make sure the plots look neat and tidy."

He added that relatives are given a list of information about what ornaments can be displayed at the crematorium when deeds for the plot are handed over. Crystal items are not allowed for safety reasons.

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