Heartbroken parents ordered to remove toys and flowers from stillborn daughter’s grave by jobsworth council

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THE grieving parents of a stillborn baby girl are distraught after the council told them to remove the decorations they’d put on their daughter’s grave.

Kelly Desborough and Tony Wilson, both 34, were sent a letter by Hull City Council telling them the tributes they had placed around baby Ebonie’s grave were “unauthorised memorabilia” which needed to be removed.

Kelly Desborough and Tony Wilson, both 34, have been told to remove the decorations they placed on their stillborn daughter Ebonie's grave. Pictured is the couple's older children at Eastern Cemetery, Hull
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Kelly Desborough and Tony Wilson, both 34, have been told to remove the decorations they placed on their stillborn daughter Ebonie’s grave. Pictured is the couple’s older children at Eastern Cemetery, Hull[/caption]

Hull City Council told the couple that the decorations are 'unauthorised memorabilia'
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Hull City Council told the couple that the decorations are ‘unauthorised memorabilia’[/caption]

The couple had decorated their daughter Ebonie’s resting place in Eastern Cemetery, Hull, with pink flowers and toys.

The heartless note said the items were “encroaching on to the neighbouring grave” and “causing an obstruction to the council’s grass cutting machinery.”

Kelly and Tony say they are “heartbroken” they have been told to remove the items from the grave, which has been designed as a fairy garden and they say has remained the same since Ebonie was laid to rest there three years ago.

They also say the way the council has handled it is insensitive and has “re-opened old wounds”.

Ms Desborough. said: “I cried my eyes out when I read the letter sent by the council – it was just how they sent it with absolutely no warning or consideration of how it would make us feel.

“The letter was completely generic and treated us just as a number, and there was nothing in there of meeting face to face to discuss things, as we had no idea there was a problem after three years of the grave being there.

“Losing a child never leaves you, and asking for Ebonie’s grave to be changed has just reopened old wounds, especially with the way the council have gone about it, which I think is disgusting.

UNAUTHORISED MEMORABILIA

“I’m heartbroken at the thought of changing the grave, which we have made in to a fairy garden to visit with the kids as a family – the way we have set up Ebonie’s grave has given us all a connection to her and we often rearrange the stones on it.”

Ms Desborough says the fairy garden grave is her only link to her little girl.

The family often visit the grave with their two older children, who they say have formed a connection with their little sister through the decorations.

She added: “I remember being in hospital and the staff there telling me that I had to decide whether to bury or cremate my baby before she was even born, and I just couldn’t take any of it in.

“In the end we chose a burial, and now Ebonie’s grave is the only thing that I’ve got to connect me to her as I have nothing else of her, only the garden that we created at the cemetery.

“A part of me went with her when I lost Ebonie and I have to try and build myself up everyday – the scars are there and now more wounds are being added.

“If I knew the rules around the graves to begin with, I would have followed them, but to ask us to change the grave now seems so unfair.”

Dad Tony Wilson says he is “disgusted” at how the council have handled the matter.

He said: “We take our 11-year-old and seven-year old kids to Ebonie’s grave and also our baby girl – our eldest have made a connection with their sister through her fairy garden, and we can’t now tell them that it has to come down, as they’d just be so devastated.

“Making the plot look nice is really important, as otherwise it’s just a depressing piece of grass, but with the garden we’ve created, it looks really nice.

“It’s disgusting, me and my partner have been crying about being told to take it down – it’s absolutely s***.

It’s disgusting, me and my partner have been crying about being told to take it down


Tony Wilson

“It’s not just us affected either, as there are lots of plots near Ebonie’s where babies are buried, so a lot of parents will be grieving again like us when they’re given the news that they need to scale back their plots.”

The letter sent to Ms Desborough reads: “Please accept my sincere apologies for having to contact you on this matter; you are recorded as being the applicant for the burial of baby Ebonie Rose Wilson.

“It has come to my attention that unauthorised memorabilia has been placed on and around the above grave.

“Unfortunately this is encroaching on the neighbouring grave and also causing an obstruction to the council’s grass cutting machinery, preventing the council from maintaining and preparing the area for burials.

“In addition, it will obstruct any masonry work the neighbouring grave is having done.

“I must ask that you make arrangements for this to be moved.

“I would like to thank you for your understanding in thus matter, and should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to me on the above telephone number.”


Hull City Council say that they are doing their best to deal with the matter respectfully.

A spokeswoman said: “Although we can understand this request may be upsetting, we have responded to recent feedback relating to access to surrounding graves.

“We will take the utmost care to ensure that this matter is dealt with respectfully for all families.”

The family have created a 'fairy garden' where they can remember Ebonie
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The family have created a ‘fairy garden’ where they can remember Ebonie[/caption]

The council said the grave's decorations are "'causing an obstruction to the council's grass cutting machinery' at Eastern Cemetery (pictured)
The council said the grave’s decorations are “‘causing an obstruction to the council’s grass cutting machinery’ at Eastern Cemetery (pictured)

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