Monday, 30 Nov 2020

Funeral directors stopped for McDonald's with body in hearse

A mum-of-two has branded undertakers ‘disrespectful’ after staff stopped to eat McDonald’s with a dead woman still in the hearse.

Deborah Carlisle, 57, says she cried in anger when she spotted the funeral workers eating a Maccies breakfast last week in Aylesford, Kent.

She says everyone in the car park ‘stood there with their jaws open’ and ‘couldn’t believe what they were seeing’.

Deborah publicly shamed them by sharing photos showing a suited man carrying a McDonald’s takeaway bag towards the hearse and insisted that the deceased woman’s family shouldn’t be charged.

But Indian Funeral Directors said one of their workers is diabetic and had permission from grieving relatives to eat at the fast-food restaurant to stop his blood sugar levels dropping.

The firm’s head, Sanjay Shah, branded Deborah a ‘busybody’ who had ’caused havoc’ with her repeated calls and said the deceased’s family laughed off claims they should be refunded.

But Deborah, from Boughton Monchelsea, Kent, was not convinced and claimed she had had ‘no sympathy’ even if the man did have diabetes, because ‘other people can manage their disabilities’.

She said: ‘The whole car park was stood there with their jaws open. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

‘I thought maybe this was the person’s last wish, but I watched and one of them get out, walked in there, came out with the bag and dumped it on the dashboard of the hearse.

‘They stayed and started munching. I walked over and both of them were holding their burgers and I said it’s disrespectful. Disgusting. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

‘Imagine if one of the funeral cortege had come in to get a bottle of water or something and seen the coffin and them munching burgers.

‘When I called, I told them I think he should waive the fee for the customer. All day I was in total shock and I cried over it. It’s disgusting.’

Deborah said the undertakers waited in the busy car park for around 30 minutes before they drove off to present the coffin at the deceased’s family’s house.

She admitted even calling other local funeral directors to tell them about what happened before hearing the firm’s explanation.

Sanjay said Deborah called numerous times and claims she maintained her ‘rude’ stance, even after he explained the stop-off was for ‘medical reasons’.

He added: ‘She’s a busybody. She should mind her own business. We’ve done everything with the permission on the son and I don’t know why she’s pulling the strings.

‘She’s definitely not a nice lady. The way she’s spoken to me and threatened me. She said she’s going to be shutting my business down.

‘She’s been creating a big havoc in our office. She’d spoken to a few people until I got the call and I told her she didn’t know the full story, so I explained it to her.

‘We’re a respectable company. We’ve been doing funerals for 31 years. We are quite popular with the whole Asian and Indian community because we provide a special service.

‘Both of our staff woke up at 5am in the morning, cleaned the cars, loaded the coffin and had to leave very early because we had to take the coffin to the family’s house first.

‘To beat the traffic, we got to Aylesford early. One of our staff is a diabetic so they spoke with the son of the deceased and asked if it’s okay if they can have a bite to eat.

‘The family straight away said we can do that and said “there’s a McDonald’s off the motorway”, then you can make your way to us. They asked if they had stopped when we got there, and we told them and yes.

‘This lady tells us we are going to do the funeral free of charge and I’ve spoken with the son and he started laughing. He asked me ‘who is this lady?’ and said he will not accept it.’

But after hearing Sanjay’s explanation, Deborah remained unconvinced and still said that their behaviour was unacceptable.

She added: ‘It’s absolute bulls**t. Whatever type of diabetes he is, he knows when to have his food to avoid going into a coma.

‘Take a packed lunch and eat it discreetly, or buy your McDonald’s and go down a lane.

‘I don’t have any sympathy. I’ve got friends that have diabetes and they manage it. Both of them were stuffing their faces, not just one.

‘If they’ve driven all the way from London without eating the correct food to stop them from going into a coma, well they shouldn’t be driving anyway.’

Deborah posted her snaps of the incident to Facebook along with a link to the busy funeral director’s website.

She wrote: ‘Disrespectful. A hearse complete with coffin wreaths and flowers pars up to get a McDonald’s. People were astounded.

‘Waited to check if they actually ate it and told him it’s disgusting and disrespectful while he munched on his burger.

‘Then he drove off the wrong way round the car park to avoid my car.’

Deborah was a founder of the Madeleine Foundation, which handed out leaflets suggesting Madeleine McCann was not abducted.

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