UKIP candidate apologises for ‘heartlessly’ binning flowers at scene of fatal crash

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A UKIP candidate has apologised after being accused of being "callous and vindictive" for removing loving tributes to a tragic dead teenager.

Brigitte Graham has released a statement saying how sorry she is but has been slammed for her actions on Sunday, Devon Live reports.

Vinnie Dennis, 18, died after the car he was a passenger in collided with a wall on East Budleigh, Devon on May 26.

Tributes had been left at the scene of the fatal smash but the former Devon County Council representative was filmed last Sunday binning them all.

Despite being asked by a friend of the victim to stop, she allegedly carried on – and did not give a reason for their removal or confirm what she would be doing with them.

Tragic Vinnie Dennis died in a car crash two weeks ago
(Image: SWNS)

Devon Live contacted the UKIP contender and she apologised for her actions at the weekend.

That didn't stop the teen's heartbroken family calling her 'callous' and 'heartless'.

Mrs Graham told the website: "I shared the outpouring of grief that followed the shocking death that happened outside our homes on May 26.

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"The flowers and messages left at the site expressed the communal sorrow experienced by myself and my neighbours.

"After three weeks the flowers were dead which gave the impression that somehow this tragedy had been forgotten. It has not been forgotten.

"I therefore removed the dead flowers, kept all the messages from friends and family and attached them to the pole so they can continue to be read.

UKIP candidate Brigitte Graham was captured removing all the tributes
(Image: Jon White / SWNS)

"I did this because I cared. I can only apologise for any upset this has caused.

"If the general feeling is that the flowers should be replaced I will do that immediately."

Vinnie's family and girlfriend Jessica Burt said: "Vinnie died two weeks tomorrow, not three weeks ago when he was alive and well, with us and not just in our hearts.

"We laid some flowers the next day after his death, but the bulk of the flowers were driven up by family and friends on the Saturday.

She said sorry but was still branded 'callous' by the teenager's grieving loved ones
(Image: devonlive)

"Residents did demonstrate compassion and sorrow, and allowed us the use of toilets, refreshments etc, and offering their land for us to use as a memorial.

"They also offered to keep the flowers watered and tended as we live nearly two hours away. Brigitte Graham was not to be seen.

"Most of the flowers that we laid on Saturday, May 29, had their own source of water and were stood in boxes. You can clearly see that they are not dead.

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"As for Brigitte's statement that we had ' forgotten the tragedy' that stole someone so special, we find this comment and the removal of flowers to be callous, vindictive and heartless.

"The family would like to thank the local residents that were so kind and it is such a shame that one member of the community has overshadowed some amazingly kind and considerate people.

"We would like to thank those residents, particularly those that support us and Vinnie.

"We have found the actions of Brigitte totally inexcusable. We only hope that the messages on the post are still sealed so we can read them when we are ready."

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