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  1. ITV Report

Teignmouth undertaker jailed after stealing thousands from funeral donations

The 62-year-old collected almost £6,000 from mourners at services. Credit: Apex

An undertaker from Teignmouth has been jailed for eight months after stealing thousands of pounds from funeral charity donations.

Robert Loveridge spent nearly a decade profiting from grieving families.

The 62-year-old collected almost £6,000 from mourners at services.

Loveridge was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court. Credit: Apex

As Loveridge was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court, the judge, Geoffrey Mercer told him "Mourners at funerals made donations to charity which it was your responsibility to pass on and quite simply you didn't. You kept the cash yourself."

"This was staggering dishonesty, a gross breach of trust and a huge deception of people who trusted you."

The Rowcroft Hospice in Torquay was one of more than ten charities which missed out on money they should have received - money which is important to keep them operating.

The donations are really vital to us. 70 percent of our funding comes from the community and the support of our great community. In total we receive about 130 thousand a year in donations via funeral directors. It's a significant amount of money. It means about sixty days of our carers out with patients through Hospice at Home, for example so we're depriving patients of care.

– Mark Hawkins, Chief Executive, Rowcroft