Man Arrested And Found Guilty Of Littering After Planting Flowers On Fiancee's Grave
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A man over in the US has been arrested and found guilty of littering after planting flowers on his fiancée's grave.
Winston 'Winchester' Hagans received a fine of $300 (£245) and a 30-day suspended jail sentence after his late partner's dad filed a complaint.
The incident unfolded after Hagans' fiancée, Hannah Ford, tragically died in a car crash in January 2021, just a month after they got engaged.
To honour her memory, the Alabama resident placed a plant pot of fresh flowers featuring a photo of the pair on her grave in the city of Auburn.
Things took a sour turn, however, when Hagans was later arrested for criminal littering. City officials told him that he could put flowers on the graveside unless there was a complaint, but one was in fact filed by none other than his 27-year-old partner's dad, Reverent Tom Ford.
Speaking to The Washington Post earlier this year, he said: "The police don’t enforce the law unless the owner of the plot tries to do something about it," adding that Ford didn't approve of their relationship.
Last Thursday (9 June), Hagans was charged with one count of criminal littering, receiving the fine and suspended sentence which will remain suspended so long as he doesn't place anymore flowers on the grave.
However, according to the outlet, his attorney Jeff Tickal suggested an appeal will be filed within the next two weeks which, if won, will grant a new trial and could lead to the fine being dropped.
Last July, Hagans shared a snapshot of the plant pot, writing: "I wish she was with me tonight.
"This is the 4th time I’ve put a flower box on her grave and someone she knew keeps trashing them. Someone keeps throwing away the flowers I plant... but each time he throws them away I’ll plant more."
In a more recent update, he said ahead of the trial: "My crime, a flower box adornment placed at the grave of my fiancée.
"Her father has accused me, the city of Auburn had me arrested and has brought charges against me... even with another 70+ planter adornments placed at headstones in that very graveyard."
The 32-year-old also took the time to thank those who had supported him through the ordeal, adding: "I am so thankful for you all, those of you who have prayed for me, thought about me, reached out, bought me a meal/coffee/beer, or just let me vent.
"It means more to me than you will ever know. It has honestly saved my life."