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Funeral workers sacked for cremating wrong body

Two funeral workers have been sacked from Co-operative Funeral care for cremating the wrong body.

The mix-up saw staff place the wrong body in a coffin and send it to Birtley Crematorium in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

Grieving friends and family, who thought they were saying their final goodbyes to someone they loved, were actually saying farewell to a complete stranger.

Co-operative Funeralcare have apologised to the family, and sacked the two workers involved. A spokesman said:

A serious breach of our strict procedures occurred and following a thorough investigation two members of staff have been dismissed.

Once the issue came to light, we immediately notified the families concerned and apologised for any distress caused and we have liaised closely with the crematoria. We remain in close contact with the families.


  1. Gerry Foley

Commons Tributes to PC David Rathband

At the opening of the monthly session of Home Office questions in the Commons, the Home Secretary paid tribute to the late PC David Rathband.

On the day of his official memorial service in Newcastle (which the Police Minister Nick Herbert is attending), Ms May called him a brave and fine police officer. She added that his death was a huge loss to the Northumbria force.

Police pay tribute to PC Rathband

PC David Rathband Credit: ITV

Former colleagues of PC David Rathband will pay tribute to him today at a special memorial service organised by Northumbria Police.

Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral in the Midlands at the weekend. He grew up in Stafford with his identical twin brother Darren.

The father of two was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat in July 2010. He survived and went on to set up the Blue Light Foundation which supports people in the emergency services injured whilst on duty. And he raised thousands of pounds for the charity, taking part in the London Marathon last year.

He also published a book called Tango 190.

He was found dead at his home in Blyth last month and leaves behind his ex-wife Kath and two teenage children.

This afternoon's service will take place at St Nicholas' Cathedral at 2 o'clock.


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