Criminals target grave for jewellery at Gloucester cemetery
RELATIVES have been left distraught after a 4ft hole was dug next to a couple's grave in what is thought to be an attempt to steal jewellery from the casket.
The culprits then filled in the crater next to Betty and Henry Brazil's final resting place with boxes and covered them with soil in an attempt to conceal their crime.
Family members said no valuables are present in the casket and are now keeping vigil at the graveside in case the culprits return "to finish the job".
Staff at the cemetery in Tredworth Road reported the discovery of a 4ft deep hole, roughly 3ft wide and 3ft long, to police when family members discovered it on Monday. The criminal damage took place between 5pm on Sunday and 9.45am on Monday. No damage was done to the casket but the family is angry and distressed by the incident.
Mr and Mrs Brazil's daughter Jenny Jones said her family were now visiting her parents' grave every day.
"When it happened I was in complete disbelief," she said. "We couldn't believe what had happened, why would somebody do that to someone? I just can't understand why. The whole family is so upset about it all. We are just coming back up and down to the grave all the time now.
"There is nothing else we can do really apart from just keep checking.
"The staff have said there is nothing they can do.
"We can't even put cameras in because it is a public place. We just don't know what to do.
"We are visiting the grave every day at every time we can, early in the morning, late at night, whenever, to stop whoever did this doing it again.
"Whoever did it tried to hide it, I believe they were coming back to finish what they started but hopefully they've stopped it. A grave is supposed to be somewhere to remember, somewhere to put flowers, but in this case it's not."
The damage to the ground will cost the cemetery £100 to repair.
A Gloucestershire police spokesman said: "Whatever the motive was for this, it was clearly an abominable and disgraceful act. We hope whoever did it heeds the words of the family and that anyone who has information comes forward."
Gloucester City Council runs the cemetery. A spokesman said: "As soon as we were alerted, we filled the hole with soil and returned it to the state it should be. Nothing like this has happened before here, to our knowledge."
Family members are considering security measures at the grave and are urging anyone with information to come forward to police on 101, quoting incident 98 of September 2.