Heartbroken family slam prison sentence after drug addict digs up couple’s grave

The family of a couple whose grave was dug up by a drug addict following a bizarre rumour that money was stashed there have slammed his 15-month sentence. Kell and Maud Goodwin’s resting place was dug up by Wayne Joselyn, 43, in April last year after he heard a rumour that a plot at the cemetery contained money. The couple had been buried together since 1984 when Maud died at the age of 78 and was buried next to Kell, who died when he was 80 in 1982.

But on May 2, a member of the public who visited the cemetery to tend to their own relative’s plot was left horrified after finding the couple’s grave had been disturbed.

After an investigation, Joselyn was arrested for the crime that took place in Carlton Cemetery in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

He was sentenced to 15 months in jail to run consecutively with the sentence he is already serving on January 20 at Sheffield Crown Court.

Joselyn previously pleaded guilty to criminal damage and to a further count of outraging public decency and common law.

The Goodwin family maintained a dignified silence throughout the trial, but have now released a statement slamming the 15-month sentence.

In a statement released by police, the family said: “It broke our hearts. We’re still stuck for words now. The memories we have of them are that they were really loving, they were just so sweet. They were so lovely to us and always there for us.

“They were the rock of our family and raised some of us – and for those members of the family they made it a gorgeous world to grow up in. We really loved them.

“As a family we don’t feel the sentence reflects the significance of the intrusion on Maud and Kell, the impact on us, nor the work put in by South Yorkshire Police, who have not just worked tirelessly on this case but also shown so much compassion. They have gone above and beyond their job description throughout.”

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Joselyn has never revealed his motive for the gravedigging, but a court heard he may have been responding to a “bizarre rumour” that jewellery or firearms were buried in the cemetery.

Addressing Joselyn directly in their statement, the family added: “Why did you do it? Do you realise what you have done to us as a family? Knowing the answer to this may help finally bring us some closure.”