Daughter sentenced for burying father’s body in woodland in ‘pagan funeral’

Daughter sentenced for burying father’s body in woodland in ‘pagan funeral’



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In this article, you will get all the information regarding Daughter sentenced for burying father’s body in woodland in ‘pagan funeral’

A daughter carried out her dying father’s wishes by giving him an illegal Pagan-style burial in the woods, a court heard. (Picture: WALES NEWS SERVICE)

A woman who fulfilled her father’s dying wish to have a pagan burial in the woods has ended up in court- after she failed to properly register his death.

Eirys Brett, 31, and her partner Mark Watson, 46 retreated to the countryside to perform the secret ritual deep in the woodlands, but were arrested when authorities became suspicious of her father Donald’s whereabouts.

A court heard one of Mr Brett’s final requests was to be buried in a non-Christian service in the woods near his farmhouse home.

Following his death shortly thereafter, his daughter and her partner then carried out his wishes out of a ‘sense of love and loyalty.’

Prosecutor Tom Scapens said Mr Brett was last seen alive in June 2019 but his body was not discovered until more than two years later. He was believed to be 78 or recently turned 79 when he died.

Following their arrest, Brett and Watson told officers he had died from natural causes and told authorities where they could find him.

A general view of Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

Eirys Brett and her partner Mark Watson were both handed four month suspended sentences at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court for failing to declare her father’s death (Picture: PA)

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard that upon exhuming the body, Mr Brett was wrapped in a hessian cotton blanket and bound in twine wrapped in a cross pattern used in medieval burials.

A number of additional items had also been buried with the body including poems, flowers and artistic supplies.

The cause of death was identified as lung cancer, although it was revealed Mr Brett was also suffering from prostate cancer at the time of his death.

‘Donald Brett was revealed to be a nonconformist person in his approach to life,’ prosecutior Tom Scapens said. 

‘He lived in a unique way.’

‘Donald Brett was a strong character and evidence has shown that he was firm in expressing his wishes to the defendants about how it was he wanted to die and how he wished to be buried.

‘The defendants carried out those wishes both in a sense of love and loyalty but also because his wishes accorded with their own views about how a person should live.

‘They were extremely misguided, but it was not malicious.’

Brett’s attorney Nicholas Gedge responded: ‘It is clear this was something that happened out of something of loyalty and love. She is of good character.’

Upon handing the pair their sentence, Judge Greg Bull QC said: ‘You took every loving care in burying him. This was not a rushed burial in the dead of night in some underhand way. The way in which he was buried showed that you loved him, and I take that into account.

‘You chose to give him his last rites in what can be best described as some sort of pagan funeral.

‘Everybody’s entitled to their beliefs and I make no comment about yours. But you should have gone about it in a different way.

‘You could have achieved the same objective by following the law and that is not simply where you think or where he thinks is appropriate but where you are permitted to bury him and to register the death – those were the two things you failed to do.’

The couple, of St Harmon, near Rhayader, Powys, were both handed four month suspended sentences.

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Daughter sentenced for burying father's body in woodland in 'pagan funeral'

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