A FAMILY has been left devastated after discovering the graves of three family members piled high with soil just days after one of them was buried.

Gareth Walmsley and family are in mourning following the death of three family members in as many months, including his 15-year-old nephew Ben who died last week.

The family had chosen to have him buried at All Saints Church, Stand, in the same grave as his baby brother’s ashes, and next to Mr Walmsley’s father, who died three months ago.

With the family still in mourning, they arrived at the graves on Monday to discover a mound of soil had been deposited on one of them and the flowers and cards they had laid had either been crushed or moved to one side.

Mr Walmsley, of Beechfield Avenue, in Radcliffe, says the family have been left ‘disgusted’ by the incident and accused the grave diggers of lacking respect.

He said: “They have dug a hole to the side of my dad’s grave and piled the dirt totally over his grave. They took all the flowers off and put them to the side.

"There is so much open space next to the grave where they could have put the soil.

"We were told we couldn't have a headstone on Ben's for six months because the soil will not have set.

“But the soil they put on my dad's grave has overflowed on to my nephews’ and crushed the flowers and cards which are still fresh. It’s disgusting. Where is the respect?

"My mum is in bits. She has already done enough grieving."

“When she rang up they were very abrupt. He said it was a normal procedure and he had never had a complaint in 20 years."

On Monday, a spokesperson for the church said: “We have got a burial tomorrow and it is just usual procedure that when graves are dug out the earth is placed nearby.

“If it interferes with other graves which frequently happens they put boards on that person’s grave.”

She added that a grave digger had been sent down to the site to remove the soil on Monday evening.