Health and safety rules thwart man’s dying wish to be buried with wife

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A WOMAN has hit out after being told she couldn’t bury her father in the same grave as her mother for health and safety reasons.

Gail Wilkes, of Wakefield, said: “They said the water table was too high and that they couldn’t bury him with my mum for health and safety reasons, but the same problem existed when mum died four years ago and they worked around it.

“The lady said the rules had changed two years ago.”

Tommy Wilkes, who lost his battle with cancer on February 6, had to be buried in a plot about 20ft away from his wife, Barbara, at Alverthorpe cemetery in Wakefield.

Glynn Humphries, of Wakefield Council, said graves can collapse due to ground conditions.

He said: “We are extremely sorry for the distress caused at this already difficult time.

“When staff went to prepare the grave for the funeral it collapsed and became unsafe.”

Mr Humphries added: “This is a very rare occurrence and we are working with the family to try and support them in any way that we can.”

joanne.ginley@ypn.co.uk