Widow heartbroken after 'men spotted having sex on husband's memorial in cemetery'
A heartbroken widow has told of her disgust after two people were allegedly spotted having sex where her husband’s ashes were scattered.
Maurice Englefield sadly passed away in March this year and his grieving wife Catherine had his ashes spread in Chesham cemetery, where he was born and grew up.
But Catherine was shocked to visit the Bellingdon Road cemetery over the August Bank Holiday weekend to find the place where her husband’s ashes had been spread had been left in a state – with broken bushes and what appeared to be evidence that someone had been sitting on it.
A neighbour then came over to break the news to a distressed Mrs Englefield that she had reported an incident to police the night before that two men had been seen having sex in the area.
It comes after numerous complaints of antisocial behaviour – including drinking and late-night gatherings - in the cemetery, which is kept open at night so people can cut through.
Mrs Englefield, an NHS worker who now lives in Aylesbury, said: “I thought it would be nice for Maurice’s friends and family if his ashes were scattered in Chesham – it is where he was born and lived. But now I am wondering if I have made a mistake because some people have no morals.
“I was so upset when I arrived and saw all the broken bushes and it looked like someone had sat on or stamped on the memorial. When the neighbour told me what had happened I was devastated. There is just no respect. To me, a cemetery is a sacred place.”
She is now calling for the cemetery gates to be locked at night in a bid to reduce the risk of antisocial behaviour – and has even involved her MP, David Lidington.
She said: “Anyone can go in there – and if you’re going in there at night, it is not going to be for a nice reason. People pay their respects during the day. The council and police say they want to keep the gates open so people can cut through there but what about those who are affected by this bad behaviour?”
“I never see a police officer there. Since my husband died I want to move back to France, but I cannot go until this is sorted out.”
Bill Richards, town clerk at Chesham Town Council, said they were aware of the issues with the cemetery and had made efforts to improve sight lines by cutting back hedges and removing benches where people had congregated for antisocial reasons.
But he admitted police were keen for the cemetery to remain open at night and there were no immediate plans to lock it up at night.
He added: “We liaise with our local police regularly and we are trying to do what we can to tackle the problems.”
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