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Widow to fight graveside fine

Woman was handed €38 fine for honoring her late husband's dying wish to mark his birthday at his graveside

17 March 2014

A WIDOW is challenging a €38 fine she received for causing a breach of the peace at her husband’s graveside.

Josiane Couston, 64, was handed the fine after trying to honour her dying husband’s request to celebrate his birthday with friends at his grave in Sauveterre (Gard), but she is challenging the ruling at a court in nearby Uzès.

Her lawyer told La Provence: “Josiane has opposed this decision because beyond this fine is a matter of principle for this lady who just wanted to honour the wishes of her husband.”

Mme Couston and four friends met in the cemetery on July 17, 2013, as they had on her husband Jean-Luc’s birthday every year since her his death in September 2011, at the age of 61. Ignoring an alcohol ban, they shared a bottle of champagne and reminisced about Mr Couston.

But, their celebration upset other visitors to the cemetery, who complained to police about the noise they were making, and Mme Couston was fined €38 for “violation of a prohibition or breach of an obligation laid down by decree or order police to ensure peace, security or public safety”.

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