Unauthorised grave prompts police investigation

A shallow grave with piles of earth either side
It is not known who excavated the shallow, but neatly dug grave [UGC]

The discovery of an unauthorised shallow grave at a cemetery has prompted a police investigation.

Mike Todd, the manager at the New Malton Cemetery, in Malton, North Yorkshire, found the "rectangular hole" on Monday.

Malton Town Council, which owns the burial ground, said the grave had not been excavated by staff and the incident had been reported to North Yorkshire Police.

The force said it appeared the grave had been dug "as a mistake".

Mr Todd had posted in the Malton Moan Facebook group asking if anyone knew who could have been responsible for the grave.

Replies suggested some people had witnessed a youth carrying a spade behaving "suspiciously" near the plot.

The site at the cemetery had been reserved for someone who is still alive.

The rectangular hole with earth either side
The grave was not authorised by the cemetery manager [UGC]

Others commented that the standard of the work was "professional" and that the hole had been dug neatly.

Mr Todd was at the town council's other cemetery in Old Malton at the time the incident took place.

Town council clerk Gail Cook said: “Our cemetery manager discovered on Monday that a small rectangular hole had been dug in the cemetery.

"We do not know who has done it, but we have now filled it in and the police are investigating.”

The Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 created offences relating to municipal burial grounds, including "creating a disturbance", "committing a nuisance" and "interfering with a grave".

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “A newly dug grave on a reserved plot at New Malton Cemetery was reported to police on Monday evening.

"It is believed to have been dug as a mistake.”

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk

Related internet links