Funeral director admits to theft of floral tributes

Funeral director James McTigue. Picture: Matthew Page.

Funeral director James McTigue. Picture: Matthew Page.

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An undertaker is set to be banned from conducting services after he was caught stealing floral tributes from a crematorium.

Funeral director James McTigue, 64, was caught on CCTV discarding tribute cards before taking displays worth up to £150.

McTigue, of Castleford, who works for his son’s firm McTigue’s which serves Hemsworth and South Elmsall in West Yorkshire, has been funeral director for 12 years.

He admitted three separate thefts at Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court where it was heard that flowers were stolen between November last year and March from the Wakefield Road site.

One of the victims had instructed McTigue to leave a tribute to her mother at the crematorium but when she returned the next day, £150 worth of the display was gone.

In January, a different family lost £80 worth of flowers. CCTV footage showed McTigue opening the boot of his company hearse and putting the flowers in a compartment.

A similar and final theft occurred in March but the victim has not been identified.

McTigue’s solicitor Paul Normandales said McTigue wanted to apologise for any upset caused, adding: “He used these flowers, not to steal, not for personal gain, but to put on the grave of a dear friend who died some years ago as a result of a tragic road traffic accident.”

He said McTigue faces a disciplinary hearing and it was “almost inevitable” he will be banned from taking services in Wakefield and Pontefract crematoriums.

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