Judge grants widow's dying wish for husband's remains to be moved from Sheffield cemetery

A judge has allowed the ashes of a man buried in Sheffield to be moved on the dying wish of his widow.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 12:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 12:50 pm
Mr Newton's remains will be exhumed from St Lawrence's Church in Tinsley (pictured) and moved to Rotherham Crematorium.

David Newton of Herringthorpe, Rotherham, died in May 2004 aged 73, and his ashes were buried at St Lawrence's Church in Tinsley due to connections with his childhood.

But his heartbroken widow, Lesley, along with her children, petitioned the Diocease of Sheffield to allow the exhumation of his ashes for them to be moved to Rotherham Crematorium saying she 'made a mistake'.

Lesley never lived to see the judge's decision. She died in October last year before the ruling was made last week.

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The Church of England Consistory Court heard the couple were married for 48 years and lived in the area close to crematorium.

Sarah Singleton QC, Chancellor of the Diocese of Sheffield and judge of the Church of England’s Consistory Court, approved the exhumation.

She said in her ruling Mrs Newton made a 'serious mistake' in her 'selection of a location for the burial' and it was 'reasonable to infer' she was 'overwhelmed by her loss' and made this decision when still 'confused by grief'.

Judge Singleton QC said: "It is obvious that his real connections and the best place for those bereaved of him to mourn him lay in the venue now proposed.

"In this case I conclude that an elderly bereaved woman made an understandable but clear mistake in selecting St Lawrence’s churchyard in Tinsley as the proper place for her husband’s cremated remains to be laid to rest.

"Although that location had most connection to her husband’s childhood home up to the age of 10, all his life thereafter was rooted in the Rotherham area and in particular the area where the Rotherham Crematorium is located.

“It is also highly significant and important that, as she approached the end of her own life, Mrs Newton herself realised the mistake perhaps contemplating her own wishes both to be laid to rest with him and to be laid to rest in the place where they had lived their lives together.”