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Mother outrage finding sons grave disturbed by Sefton Council workers.....

A Merseyside council was accused of “utter disrespect” for the way it “tidied” a graveyard.

Paula Swinnerton, 41, visited her son Sam’s grave to find it had been disturbed bySefton council.

When she arrived, she found two men relaying the ground where Sam – who died as a full-term stillborn baby in 2002 and dozens of other babies – had been laid to rest.

What had been a grass surface became mud, marked with thick tyre treads.

Memorials left to the children such as flowers, toys, messages and small angel statues were placed in a small pile next to a nearby tombstone.

Paula, who visits the site every fortnight, had planned to place a small wooden cross with a poppy on her son’s grave.

The cross bears the same message every year: “To my beautiful baby boy Sam, Always loved, never forgotten.”

Shaking from cold and shock, the mother said that relaying the ground and piling up the memorials was a “desecration.”

“I couldn’t give you the word to tell you how I feel. Disgusted doesn’t touch it,” she said.

Paula said that she had received no notice of what was to happen at the cemetery and that she and other families maintained the plot with children’s graves.

“We keep it nice," she said.

"There’s not a load of junk here. It’s personal things to us.

“To not have approached us and tell us what they’re doing, that’s what I hate the most."

The incident was not the first time that memorials to deceased children had been disturbed at Bootle Cemetery.

In 2011, parents were distraught after a tribute garden to children in the cemetery was torched by vandals.

Paula said: “I could handle it (the latest incident) better if it was vandals. It is a complete and utter disrespect for us parents and grandparents.”

Despite the removal of all the small memorials, Paula planted her wooden cross in the ground before she left.

Paula Swinnerton loving memento for her baby boy Sam

Paula said visited the grave with her husband and two children on Saturday and Sunday and the family placed as many memorials as they could back on their corresponding graves.

A spokesman for Sefton council said: “The death of a child is a devastating and traumatic time for parents and families and we understand the emotions surrounding it.

“As the public baby grave area at Bootle Cemetery had become untidy over the years, some improvement works have recently been carried out.

“This involved removing some items and laying new paving stones and turf which should make it easier to visit the graves and will present a tidier image.

“As these are public graves, we don’t have contact details for all of the parents and it would not be possible to contact everyone who has a child or family member buried within a public grave at the cemetery.

"A sign has since gone up informing families that improvement works are taking place at the site.”

Sefton council said all items removed had since been put back in place.

Story thanks to – Christopher Brennan of Liverpool Echo

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