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Family given ‘stepfather’s ashes’ fear police have found his body at funeral parlour

UncategorizedFamily given 'stepfather's ashes' fear police have found his body at funeral parlour

“As far as we know he has got his ID band on him, that’s all we know, he has not been identified properly,” she said.

“They [the funeral directors] have given my step-brother ashes a month ago, they have given him ashes saying that it was my step dad.

“I think there might be a number of other people that have been in the same [position], that’s all I can say to you.”

Mandy Callis, 62, who was a neighbour of Mr Middleton for six years, said he spent his final years living alone with his dog, a cocker spaniel called Elvis, following the death of his wife.

She told The Telegraph he had died about “two months” ago and described him as a “nice man”.

Ms Callis added: “It is a shame, if that is the way he has been treated on his last legs. It is disgusting.”  

The Hull firm’s director is listed as Robert Bush and his daughter, Saskya Bush, is employed by Legacy.

A social media account for the firm shows father and daughter posing together while wearing face masks during the pandemic.

Funeral firm faces being struck off

A local business owner who knew Mr Bush said: “I have had numerous chats with Rob, I’ve known him since 2010 and he came across as a very nice guy, kind, caring.”

Companies House records show Legacy Independent Funeral Service was facing being struck off on Tuesday. The firm’s accounts are currently overdue and documents show that the company has received its fifth public warning that it faces a “compulsory strike-off”.

Each time, the firm, which was established in 2010, has won a reprieve to have the strike-off discontinued.

However, a further first gazette notice – issued to signal an intention to strike off a company – has been issued against the firm, dated for March 12.

The events unfolding in Hull have fuelled calls for the funeral industry to face government oversight.

Funeral directors are an unregulated industry in the UK, but there are plans for statutory regulation in Scotland.

Currently, firms can voluntarily pay to become members of two trade bodies – the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors.

Each of these trade bodies have codes of practice that members must follow. Unhappy customers can contact the trade bodies if they are dissatisfied with one of its members.

However, Legacy Independent Funeral Service was not signed up to either trade body.

It is thought that as many as 1,000 firms – approximately a sixth of the UK total – are not signed up to either trade body, according to an industry source.

Andrew Judd, the chief executive of the NAFD, told The Telegraph: “The NAFD has already called on Government to strengthen the oversight of the funeral profession.

“We believe it is critically important to ensure that all UK funeral homes are held to the same high standards and that the responsibility for this should not be borne alone by trade associations – but underpinned by government.”

Sir Robert Goodwill, a senior Tory MP on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Funerals and Bereavement, said: “This is a real cause for concern for relatives who are worried their loved ones may not have been treated with the respect, dignity and efficiency that funeral directors deliver to bereaved families.”

He added: “We are all keen to see what has happened there but there [are] already offences the police can investigate to secure prosecutions. I don’t think we should rush to a knee-jerk reaction and introduce new regulations until we know what has happened.”

Greg Smith, Tory MP for Buckingham, said: “It’s unbelievably grim. There is no question regulatory actions will need to be taken after this.”

Officers cordoned off three Legacy Independent Funeral Directors sites after the force received a report last Wednesday of concerns about the “storage and management processes relating to care of the deceased”.

Residents reported police outside the firm’s premises in Anlaby Road and Hessle Road, both in Hull, at about 3am on Thursday, according to Hull Live.

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