A woman who hired a private eye to catch the vandal trashing her family grave was sickened when she discovered the culprit was – her cousin.
Sue Pullin, 67, called in a surveillance expert after her mother Mavis Budd’s resting place was repeatedly damaged over a three year period.
But she was disgusted when covert camera footage captured her cousin Amanda Lester trampling on flowers, pulling up blooms and pouring dirty water over the headstone.
Sue Pullin was shocked to find that her cousin was the one who was trashing her mother’s grave after she hired a private investigator
Mrs Pullin called the police and Lester, 57, has now been convicted of criminal damage and given a conditional discharge.
Devastated Mrs Pullen is still unclear what motivated her cousin, but suspects she was unhappy that Mrs Budd’s ashes were scattered on the same plot as her own mother.
She said: ‘It was horrible. I just didn’t know what I was going to find when we set up the camera.
‘I was having sleepless nights and was so upset. It was tearing the family apart.
‘When I saw it was Amanda it made me feel sick and I had to go outside to get myself together.
‘The tape showed her putting all the flowers in a bag and throwing them into a copse.’
Mrs Budd was 89 when she died on December 27th 2009.
She was cremated and the ashes were spread at St Anne’s Church graveyard in Oldland Common, Bristol, in March the following year.
Mrs Pullin, a supermarket trainer, explained: ‘As soon as we put mum’s ashes down and put some floral tributes down, the trouble started.
Hidden camera: Footage captured with a hidden camera showed the vandal was Mrs Pullin’s cousin, Amanda Lester, pictured
Lester was caught on film pouring dirty water over the gravestone of Mavis Budd
‘Everything was being damaged, taken away or destroyed.
‘It was devastating for us and we had no idea who was doing it. We just assumed it was children.
‘There was a bend in the graveyard I would go around and my stomach would lurch, because it was then I would see if anything had happened.’