'Selfish, wicked' mother jailed after lying to undertakers to stop ex attending son's funeral

Cathleen Hackney was jailed for four months Credit: SWNS

A "selfish and wicked" mother has been jailed after deliberately filling in false paperwork to stop her ex-husband from attending their son's cremation.

Tragically, nobody - not even his mother - attended the funeral of 32-year-old Paul Moreland after she signed fake certificates to ensure his father was kept in the dark about when it was taking place.

Cathleen Hackney was jailed for four months and ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to her former partner Paul Barber at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court today.

The court heard that Mr Moreland had been diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis in his mid-20s, and died of chronic liver disease in 2010 with his parents by his side.

But an argument the following day prompted his mother to make one final, spiteful gesture.

Hackney, 56, of Park View Close, Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent, signed documents stating that no close relative was opposed to cremation - despite having no evidence to that effect - and even switched funeral homes to try to throw Mr Barber off her plans.

Jurors were told that Mr Barber had hired lawyers to try to prevent his son's body being released from the hospital mortuary - but despite his best efforts, the service went ahead.

Paul Moreland died in 2010, aged 32 Credit: Eugene Henderson

He did not find out that it had taken place until three hours later.

In evidence, Hackney told jurors she did not want to be in the same room as her ex-husband, whom she divorced in 1983, after he had "insulted" her - describing his request to be at the funeral as "unreasonable".

She claimed she had not thought Mr Barber would have a problem with the cremation, and said she believed her son would have found the idea of a funeral not attended by anybody "amusing".

Hackney was found guilty of signing a false certificate and making a false representation with a view to procuring the burning of human remains at a hearing last month.

Speaking outside the court after the sentencing, Mr Barber said he still did not know where his son's ashes had been scattered.

Paul Barber said he still does not know where his son was laid to rest Credit: SWNS

Sentencing Hackney today, Judge David Fletcher told her that Mr Barber had "undoubtedly" suffered psychological stress.