Savile family removes gravestone

Congleton Guardian: Sir Jimmy Savile's headstone has been removed from his grave Sir Jimmy Savile's headstone has been removed from his grave

Sir Jimmy Savile's headstone will be broken up and sent to landfill after it was removed.

The elaborate tombstone was removed in the early hours of Wednesday morning after Savile's family requested it be taken away out of "respect to public opinion".

The move came after police said they believe the "predatory sex offender" could have abused up to 25 victims over 40 years.

Savile's family said they made the decision to ensure the "dignity and sanctity" of Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough.

The headstone, which bears the star's image and lists his accomplishments, including the epitaph "It was good while it lasted", has now been taken to a stonemason's yard in Leeds where the inscription will be ground down.

Funeral director Robert Morphit, of Joseph A Hey and Son, who organised Savile's funeral and oversaw the dismantling of the headstone, said: "Yesterday afternoon the family contacted me and said they'd thought very carefully about the course of action with regard to the stone.

"They had decided that in order to protect the dignity and sanctity of this cemetery it was appropriate to remove the stone."

The prime spot, which is roped off, is now identifiable only by several bunches of flowers on a dirt patch.

Mr Morphit said once the family comes to terms with the outcome of various investigations they will make a decision as to how it should be marked in the future.

A family spokesman said in a statement: "The family members are deeply aware of the impact that the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery. Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there and to those who tend their graves and visit there, we have decided to remove it."

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