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Undertaker in court accused of cremating baby without consent

Published by in English ·

An undertaker has appeared in court accused of cremating a stillborn baby without the parents' consent.

David Durden, aged 60, faced Plymouth magistrates charged with submitting papers to a crematorium which did not have the signature of the child's mother or father.

Durden, of Dunraven Drive, Derriford, denied knowingly carrying out or procuring or taking part in the burning of human remains between July 12 and July 22 contrary to the Cremation Act 1902.

He was due to stand trial yesterday but the hearing was postponed for legal argument.

The Crown Prosecution Service claim that the issue is the veracity of a signature on paperwork submitted to the crematorium.

Malcolm Clarke, acting for Durden at the original hearing, said that the allegation was that the signature was not that of the complainant.

He added: "The claim is that the cremation was done without their consent."

Mr Clarke said that Durden had lost his job as a result of the allegation.

The Herald understands that he worked for the Co-operative Funeral Service and that the cremation was of a stillborn baby.

Magistrates released Durden on unconditional bail to return to face the court again for a trial on March 3.

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