Bureaucrats blasted by grieving Midhurst parents

Kevin Limbrick and Kerry Goodman with the teddy and hearts they graved on their daughter's grave
Kevin Limbrick and Kerry Goodman with the teddy and hearts they graved on their daughter's grave

A Midhurst couple mourning the loss of their baby daughter have accused town councillors of deepening their grief through insensitive bureaucracy.

A Midhurst couple mourning the loss of their baby daughter have accused town councillors of deepening their grief through insensitive bureaucracy.

Kerry Goodman and her partner Kevin Limbrick lost baby Rhianna 23 weeks into her pregnancy when her heart stopped beating.

She was buried at the Midhurst Town Council-owned Carron Lane cemetery in a service attended by many of the couple’s large family on April 5.

But later a small pink rabbit, three hearts and a glass flower vase they and their three-year-old son Seb placed on her grave in the cemetery were removed without explanation.

Even a marble flower holder taken from Kevin’s grandmother’s grave close by and replaced on Rhianna’s grave had been removed. At first they thought the keepsakes had been stolen or removed by vandals. “We searched the cemetery for them and even looked in the bins,” said Kerry.

It later emerged they had been removed by town council staff because they were ‘unauthorised ornaments’.

Glyn Upjohn, chairman of the town council’s Community Care Committee responsible for the cemetery said permission had now been granted for the marble flower holder, but pointed out cemetery regulations required any memorial to have approval before it was installed and memorials not made of stone, marble or wood needed special council permission.

He said while appreciating the deep sadness and grief of the family it would be unfair to treat one bereaved family differently from all others.

Full story see Midhurst and Petworth Observer July 12