Women who stole crematorium flowers given jail sentences

30/10/2013

Two Liverpool women who stole crematorium flowers to sell on for profit have been given prison sentences.

Marion Hill and Lyndsay Millett, who were sisters, took the tributes from Springwood crematorium in Liverpool in a theft described by a judge as "shameful".

After the incident was reported, police raided Hill's home in Almeda Road, in Speke and found "wreath making paraphernalia" which led them to believe they were making profits from the bereaved.

On Wednesday,  30 October 2013, the pair were sentenced at Liverpool magistrates court, with Hill, 42, who had previous fraud and theft convictions, receiving a 10-week prison sentence.

Sister Millett, 37, was given an eight-week sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The court was told the women had been caught on CCTV stealing wreaths from the crematorium bearing the words 'MUM' and 'NAN'.

These had been bought by relatives for 82-year-old Bridget Jennat, who had recently died.

Crematorium officials had installed the video system due to a series of previous thefts.

Defence solicitor Leanne Kennedy told today's hearing the sisters denied being involved in any other incidents and maintained they had stolen Mrs Jennat's wreaths to leave on their own mother's grave.

After the theft on May 7 police found several other wreaths at Hill's home, including one which formed the word 'DAD'.
District judge Richard Clancey told the sisters that the theft was a "shameful act."

He added: "This is a most disgraceful form of offence, and one that would not be tolerated by any civilised society.

"The grief (caused) cannot be quantified."

The judge told Hill she would serve five weeks of her sentence and ordered both women to pay £250 each in compensation.

Andrew Hodgson, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said:  "This was a heinous crime, carried out against people who were already suffering following a bereavement.

"The two women involved have shown no remorse for their behaviour or the distress they've caused.

"The Crown's case was that these women had not stolen the flowers for their mother's grave - they were stealing them as part of a commercial enterprise and were making money from their actions.

"That case was accepted by the court and we welcome the sentences these women have received."