A GRIEVING Widnes widow has been left heartbroken after she claims her late husband’s ashes have been disturbed at Widnes Cemetery.

Lynne Rose was shocked to discover workmen digging up a miniature rose bush she had planted over her 62-year-old husband, David’s remains.

The 64-year-old care worker from Orkney Close had visited the plot every day since he was laid to rest before Christmas.

Her daughter Lindsay Rose, 39, said: “Gardeners were digging up the little rose bush she had planted in his memory.

“He was Liverpool mad so she had also put a Liverpool vase and a pebble there as well but they had gone.

“My mum was hysterical.”

When she asked what was happening, gardeners took her into the cemetery office.

“She could see all my dad’s things slung to one side and was told the rose had been re-planted,” said Lindsay.

“She said the man who spoke to her was abrupt.

“The hardest thing is that they have disturbed my dad.”

David, who had four grandchildren, died from cancer.

Some of his ashes were scattered at Anfield, at home and in the River Mersey.

“Mum wanted somewhere to go to visit him,” added Lindsay. “We paid £65 for this plot and had a special service.

“Mum was so upset to see dad's ashes disturbed she cried all afternoon.

“Now she can’t go back. That is what is so heartbreaking.

“If they had told us we couldn’t put anything on the plot we wouldn’t have but when we saw plants left by other people we thought it was alright.”

David's family has written a letter of complaint to Halton Council.

Halton Cllr Ron Hignett, board member for the physical environment, said: "The lady had planted a rose bush in the general scatter beds which is not allowed in accordance with cemetery rules, all of which was explained to her.

“Scatter beds are not purchased plots (unlike graves) so many sets of cremated remains are strewn in the beds throughout the year.

"We are trying to keep the cemeteries and gardens of remembrance to high standard. If we allow pots and rose bushes to be planted in these beds we will have no room to strew further remains.

"If families want a permanent place to visit and place flowers they are advised to purchase a plaque and a vase is provided for flowers.

"Staff carefully re-planted the rose so it didn’t die and whoever owned it could collect it. As it was a communal area staff did not know who they were to contact. The cremated remains will not have been disturbed.

"Any vases that are placed on the scatter beds are periodically removed and stored behind the crematorium wall for collection. All of this was politely explained.

"Staff were courteous to the lady as they are to all users of the facilities as they recognise the sensitivity of the environment and the grieving process.”