By Harry Mottram: Police have arrested two people in Hull at a funeral directors over a “concern for care of the deceased.” The move came over concerns “in relation to the storage and management and processes of the deceased people within those premises”.

The 46-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were arrested after reports by Humberside Police of a “horrific incident”, at the Legacy funeral business in the city. Police have cordoned off the three Legacy Independent Funeral Directors sites – two in Hull and one in Beverley – after they had received more than 1,000 phone calls about the business.

At a press conference on Tuesday 12 March, 2024, Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin said: “I can confirm at this stage that between Friday morning on 8th of March and the evening of Saturday 9th of March we have recovered a total of 35 deceased who have now been respectfully transported to the mortuary in Hull and formal identification procedures are now taking place. In addition, we have also recovered a quantity of what we suspect to be human ashes. We are in the process of carefully recovering all of those ashes and taking those to the mortuary.”

The enquiry concerns bodies not being buried, bodies kept in freezers after the funerals may have officially taken place, human remains and ashes found at the premises and concerns over cash paid for funerals if the deceased wasn’t buried. Writing for Yorkshire Live Samuel Port and Sophie Corcoran reported: “The force discovered 35 bodies and what is believed to be a “quantity of human ashes” during their investigation into family business Legacy Independent Funeral Directors, which has branches in Hull and Beverley. A man, 46, and a woman, 23, were arrested on suspicion of preventing a lawful burial, fraud by false representation and abuse of position. They have since been bailed. The force launched its investigation last Wednesday, March 6, after receiving a reports of concern about the ‘storage and management processes relating to care of the deceased’.”

Why things were not run properly at the funeral parlours may be linked to financial issues. Kevin Donald for the Mail Online noted: “A funeral firm at the centre of a police probe into improper care of the dead has been on the brink of being struck off the Companies House register for two years. Legacy Independent Funeral Service’s accounts are currently overdue and the company has received its fifth public warning that it faces a ‘compulsory strike-off’.”

One aspect of the case is money relatives have paid for at least 35 funerals – each at an average for £4,000 – meaning some £140,000 is potentially missing from customers. And that is not including the trauma and anguish that has been caused – something that is impossible to put a figure on.

Checkaco’s operations manager Pervis Chapel said most people choose a funeral director in extremely difficult times. He said: “Although there are emotions, shock and upset when a loved one dies, appointing a funeral director is like anyother major purchase. Doing a check using Checkaco on an undertaker is a good idea as if there are financial problems they will flag up with a basic search and since funerals are very expensive it is better to be safe and have peace of mind.”

In 2022 Safe hands who had 45,000 customers for their funeral plan business went bust owing the majority of the fees – meaning thousands of people lost their deposits and plans. Last autumn a Willenhall family run funeral business collapsed owing those who had paid deposits and also paid into funeral plans with them thousands of pounds.

The case continues.


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