Gravedigger who broke into coffin at Barnsley cemetery jailed

Wayne Joselyn/Carlton Cemetery in Barnsley
Wayne Joselyn left a snood in the soil of the grave at Carlton Cemetery. Credit: South Yorkshire Police/ITV News

A gravedigger who broke into the coffin of a woman buried alongside her husband – possibly in search of money – has been jailed.

Drug addict Wayne Joselyn, 43, dug into the plot of Maud and Kell Goodwin at Carlton Cemetery in Barnsley in April last year. The couple's remains had lain together since 1984.

South Yorkshire Police launched an investigation on 2 May after a member of the public reported seeing the grave disturbed.

Over the next 11 days a forensic anthropologist and an archaeologist, along with body recovery and CSI teams, seized soil and evidence.

They also examined a shovel which cemetery owners confirmed was not used by their staff.

Mrs Goodwin's remains had to be exhumed and experts spent days sifting through soil, carried by buckets into a nearby tent, and piecing fragments of bone back together.

Investigators needed a warrant obtained from the Ministry of Justice to be able to carry out their work.

A snood discarded by Joselyn was found in the soil he flung back into the grave. It provided the DNA linking him to the crime.

Maud Goodwin's body was exhumed and later reburied. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Phone records traced his mobile at the scene, between 28 and 29 April. He had ordered a taxi to a friend’s house, where he handed them his boots and clothes and asked them to burn them.

Instead, they contacted officers to let them know what Joselyn had done.

Joselyn went on to plead guilty to interfering with a grave and outraging public decency.

He has never revealed his motivation for the incident, but the court heard he may have believed there was cash in Mrs Goodwin's coffin.

Joselyn, who is already serving a 55-month sentence for burglary, was jailed for a further 15 months.

Det Insp Mark Cockayne, the deputy senior investigator, said: "Joselyn had dug to between three and three-and-a-half feet and he had literally been into Maud’s coffin.

"And yet we still don’t really know why he did it. In essence we had to have another funeral for Maud because of what he did and reintern her into the grave with her husband.

"Today’s sentencing will hopefully have brought about some closure for the family, who will hopefully now begin to start moving forward and putting this behind them."

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