Family left ‘sweepings’ instead of Tottenham mother

07:00 30 March 2012

Doreen Bowers

Doreen Bowers

Archant

A man deliberately given remains which were not his mother by a Haringey Council employee has questioned how many times it has happened.

John Bowers, 47, was distraught after he discovered the urn he buried next to his father in the family plot did not contain the remains of his mother Doreen, who lived in Cambridge Road, Tottenham, for about 40 years before her death in August 2008, but were “sweepings” off Enfield Crematorium’s floor.

The deception was uncovered by his sister, who was handed Mrs Bowers’ remains six months before her brother in January 2009.

Confused, she approached Haringey Council, which runs Enfield Crematorium.

The council later discovered Mr Bowers had been handed a false set of ashes.

Mr Bowers, who grew up in Tottenham but now lives in Hertfordshire, said the entire family felt “betrayed”.

He said: “Even to find out that once someone dies, to know the ashes end up in a bucket on the side, that was quite a shock.

“The way I look at it is, they have done it to me, who else have they done it to?

“They held a memorial with my sister. [The crematorium worker] has not made a mistake.

“She knew what she was doing. It makes it even worse.”

Haringey Council says it has apologised “unreservedly” to Mr Bowers and his family.”

Lyn Garner, director of place and sustainability, said: “It was wrong that Mr Bowers was given a false set of ashes and the officer who did this, acting alone, has been disciplined.

“As soon as this matter was brought to the council’s attention in late June 2011 an urgent investigation took place.

“Since then we have reviewed our procedures and believe we have as robust a set of arrangements in place as possible.”

Mr Bowers wants to make sure the ashes buried next to his father are given a proper burial rather than be put in the bin after he received a piece of paper which identified what was in the urn as “person unknown”.

He said: “They are telling me that it is rubbish or are they saying that because they do not want to say they have given me someone else’s ashes?”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Kendra Wilkinson’s second trial in as many days didn’t go completely to plan.

Read more

Could Jake and Edwina be forming an unlikely romance? Or is there someone else after his heart…

Read more

It doesn’t get much more festive than posing with Santa and a dude in a reindeer costume.

Read more

Promotions

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need! We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time we’re offering up to 40% off.

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Quirky London