A GRIEVING son says he was disgusted after he found his father’s grave covered by a “mountain of earth”.

Mark Deal, from Braintree, visited his father’s grave only to find soil had been dumped all over it.

Mr Deal was visiting Bocking Cemetery with his wife and mother to commemorate the fourth anniversary of his father’s death.

When they arrived the grave was covered in soil and gravel from another grave being dug next door.

Mr Deal said: “We went down there – myself, my wife and my mum – because it was the anniversary of his death.

“The grave next to his had been dug and all the soil that had been taken out of that grave was dumped on his.

“I understand that it was dug up on the Thursday or Friday and we visited on the Saturday – they should have noticed the anniversary on his grave.

Mr Deal said there was no prior warning that work would be taking place near the grave.

He said: “They could have written a letter to my mum saying this is going to happen, but we heard nothing.

“There was lots of space behind and in front of the grave that they could have used.

“They have assured me it will be put back how it was, but I don’t think the plants underneath the soil will be replaced.

Mr Deal has filed an official complaint with Braintree Council, which runs the cemetery.

He added: “They should have at least let us know or put it somewhere else, then it would not have been a problem.

“I think now a letter of apology to my mum would be nice.”

Braintree Council has apologised for the distress caused to the family.

A spokesman said: “We’ve spoken to our contractors who have followed correct procedure, however they did not put down matting to minimise the stark look of the mound of soil on the neighbouring grave.

“We pride ourselves on managing our cemeteries with care and sensitivity so we’d like to give our sincere apologies to this family for the distress caused.

“As past of the normal process of digging a grave for a funeral, it is common practice to place soil on an adjacent grave.

“When this is necessary, raised wooden boards and plywood are placed over the grave before moving the soil to avoid it coming into contact with or damaging the grave and it is then covered with green matting.

“On this occasion, green matting was not used by our contractor and this obviously added to the distress felt by relatives who visited the grave.”