A grieving daughter has told how she stumbled across cemetery workers burying another person in her mother's grave.
Carol Stone, 49, desperately halted a funeral with the hearse just yards from the plot after spotting a large funeral party gathered at her mother Joyce's graveside.
Heartbreakingly, she had gone to the cemetery to mark the second anniversary of her mother's death when she spotted the the mix-up.
And after rushing up to the plot, she was stunned to find cemetery workers had dug a shallow grave where her mother was already buried.
Memorial items left by family - including a wooden cross and potted plant - had also been thrown to the side by careless workers as another family prepared to bury their loved one on top of Joyce.
Ms Stone, from Warmley, Bristol, said: 'I am absolutely devastated. If I hadn't visited at that specific time another person would have been buried in the same plot as my mum.
'My dad has always wanted to be buried there and we had hoped the spot would be saved for him.
'A wooden cross my brother had made which had a photo our mum on it had just been pushed to the side.
'There was also a potted plant and some flowers I had left last week that had also been moved.'
Ms Stone quickly halted the ceremony before bungling cemetery staff realised their mistake.
And after checking with bosses, they realised that the person was meant to be buried in a plot three spaces away - not Joyce's.
Luckily the grave had not been dug deep enough to reach her mother's coffin - but the other person was due to be buried on top, in a shallower grave.
Family and friends of the person about to be buried then faced an upsetting 25 minute wait for a new plot to be dug before they could pay their final respects to their loved one.Ms Stone added: 'I don't understand how the cemetery staff could have thought it was alright to bury another person there.
'Surely it's not normal practice to bury a stranger with someone who only died two years ago. When I complained to the person in charge he admitted they had made a mistake.
'I was so upset to have to watch the soil go back in - it was like going back two years and having to go through it all over again.
'I am still dealing with my mother's death and this has just opened another can of worms.
'The fact that it was the second anniversary of her death just made it all the worse. I'm not looking to gain anything from this, but simply want to know that it won't happen again.'
To add insult to injury, Ms Stone can no longer place anything by her mother's grave for a year - so 'the ground can settle'.
Ms Stone's mother Joyce, who lived in Fishponds, Bristol, with her father Jim, died aged 81 on February 7, 2010, after suffering from heart disease.
Ms Stone is now the full-time carer for her father, 88, who is disabled and suffers from heart disease and deep vein thrombosis.
Her brother Ronald Stone, 58, also from Bristol, has also been left shocked by the mistake.
He blasted: 'I can't believe what has happened. I feel awful that my sister had to go through all this.
'We have been told to wait for a phone call from the cemetery supervisor, but are both just stunned by what happened.'
A council spokeswoman said: 'We deeply regret the distress caused to Carol Stone, her family and the other family concerned over this terrible mix up at Avonview Cemetery.
'This mix-up was due to basic human error failing to identify the correct plot and we offer our sincere apologies.
'In this extremely rare case, our level of service and care fell well short of the high standards we set ourselves.
'We will be writing to both parties affected by this incident. We will of course look again at our procedures and triple-checking our records to ensure this does not happen again.'