Guernsey

J-P Le Bachelet cross grave memorial is returned

J-P Le Bachelet wooden cross in Vale cemetery
Image caption The family has been trying to source a permanent headstone

A homemade wooden cross on the grave of a young Guernseyman has been returned after a dispute between his family and cemetery officials.

The parents of Jean-Pierre 'J-P' Le Bachelet, who took his own life two years ago, said they had been unable to source a suitable headstone.

Cemetery officials sparked a public row when they removed the cross.

Mandy Le Bachelet said she was "absolutely delighted... but angry it had happened in the first place".

Under the rules of the cemetery wooden crosses must be replaced by a headstone six months after burial.

Mrs Le Bachelet said she had encountered problems getting the memorial the family wanted for her son.

Pierre de Garis, a Vale douzenier, said they had great sympathy for the family and "the Vale Committee had bent over backwards" to help.

He said there was good reason behind the rules: "First of all it's a mistake to put in anything permanent too early, the ground has to settle, and secondly when these temporary markers were allowed to stay on regrettably sometimes they would be abandoned... so it would get messy.

"This rule is not unique, it's fairly standard in other cemeteries in the island."

"You're allowed six months and this has been going on for more than two years, this is not a jobsworth and their rulebook."

J-P Le Bachelet was 14 years old when he died in the intensive care unit at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital following an incident at Rousse on 18 June 2008.

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