Murder victim’s grave heartache

Anne Grey at Jamie Stewarts grave, marked only by a wooden stake
Anne Grey at Jamie Stewarts grave, marked only by a wooden stake
Have your say

THE family of a teenage murder victim encountered further heartbreak after they were unable to identify the place where his last remains had been laid to rest.

Five weeks ago, the family of Jamie Stuart received the awful news that 19-year-old had been stabbed to death after being attacked as he walked home following a night out.

It was the latest in the series of tragic blows to affect the family in just a few weeks. His grandma Rosina had died just weeks before and his dad David had recently been diagnosed with leukaemia.

But Jamie’s devastated relatives were determined to cope as best they could through their terrible grief in order to give the lad a decent send-off.

However, despite their best efforts, that didn’t happen - and they blame Sheffield Council for failing to mark the grave.

Jamie’s grandma, Anne Gray, of Colley Crescent, Parson Cross told The Star the family had paid £395 for the plot, £132 for the grave digging, plus another £150 to erect a headstone.

However, because the headstone cannot be erected until the ground has settled in around 16 weeks, the council said they would put a proper marker on the ground so the family could identify where it was. But the family report there was no marker to be seen.

When they complained, the council provided a ‘tatty’ piece of wood.

Anne said: “Five weeks ago my life fell apart my grandson was stabbed to death. Last week his ashes were interred in Ecclesfield Cemetery. But when his dad went down this week he couldn’t find the grave as it had not been marked.

“After several phone calls to the council he was told his grave would be marked the next day.

“When we went back down again we found it was marked with the tattiest piece of wood and had been marked with the grave number in marker pen.

“We are all devastated by his death and find this even more upsetting.

“We spent hundreds of pounds on the grave and not to be given a decent marker is a disgrace and a complete lack of respect.

“To think that the council could show such a lack of compassion and demonstrate such thoughtlessness is terrible for anyone.

“But for a family that had lost a young man under such circumstances it is unthinkable. The whole thing has left me disgusted and heartbroken.”

Sheffield Council has apologised. A spokeswoman said: “We are sorry if the marker has added to the family’s distress. Markers are small wooden pegs and are only there to identify the grave number and location. They are in no way provided as a memorial. All graves are identified in this way until a suitable memorial is purchased.

“We would have no objection to the family providing a small wooden cross if they wished to do so prior to a more permanent memorial being erected.”

Jamie was stabbed on his way home to Orchard Close, Ecclesfield after a night out in the White Horse Pub, Parson Cross. He was found dying in Holgate Avenue after suffering multiple stab wounds.

Danny Robert Parr, aged 19, of Broom Close, Rotherham, has been charged with his murder.