Mother's relief over burial plans for son

A RELIEVED mother is “at last happy” after her local council agreed to allow her to bury her teenage son opposite his twin brother.

Lizzie Parry

A RELIEVED mother is “at last happy” after her local council agreed to allow her to bury her teenage son opposite his twin brother.

Makiebien Stappard, 16, died of a head injury after his mother found him unconscious at home in Leiston in the early hours of February 14.

His distraught mother Stacey Stappard of Arnhem Road, Leiston, has been engaged in a debate with Suffolk Coastal District Council over Makiebien's final resting place since March.

She had hoped to bury her son in a plot next to his identical twin Darquarn who died of cot death when he was just 21 months old in 1994.

But Suffolk Coastal raised concerns about the size of Makiebien's grave saying it was too big to be included in the children's cemetery on Waterloo Avenue, where Darquarn is buried.

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Yesterday, a compromise was agreed, with the council offering Ms Stappard a plot next to the children's area, allowing the twins to be buried head to head.

Ms Stappard said the decision had relieved months of worry and stress for her whole family.

“At last I am happy,” she said. “But at the same time I am disgusted at the time taken to go through this added trauma when this could have been resolved in the first place.

“I just wanted my twins to be next to each other. It is a shame we have been put through all the unnecessary stress for them to buckle and change their decision,” she added.

Hilary Slater, Suffolk Coastal's head of legal and democratic services, said the area offered to Ms Stappard is an area of the cemetery never intended for burial.

“This is the closest possible place for Makiebien, and it will not cause any change to the nature and lay-out of the children's area,” she said.

“Makiebien was over six foot tall and to have buried him where Stacey wanted would have seen him go across two rows of the children's area, cut across the access route and looked completely out of place.”

Ms Stappard is now waiting for her teenage son's body to be released after police investigations into the cause of his death are concluded, allowing her to finally lay him to rest next to his twin brother.