UK

Coffin-raiding burglar, 42, who ransacked dead bodies for jewellery is jailed for two years in Devon

A coffin-raiding career burglar who ransacked dead bodies before their funerals for jewellery and tipped ashes onto the floor of a funeral parlour has been jailed for two years.  

Marc Griffin, 42, also left fridges in the mortuary open and stole the keys to a hearse during the raid on the chapel of rest in Barnstaple, Devon. 

He ransacked the Padfields Funeral Service after arriving cut and leaving a trail of blood in his destructive wake.  

Griffin then unzipped the body bags of a dead grandmother and a veteran to get at their jewellery and riffled through a grandfather’s funeral clothes. 

He also opened coffins, and read a letter which was due to be buried with one of the bodies. 

The grieving families said the crimes have ‘magnified the trauma’ of bereavement, made them feel ‘violated’ and ‘sickened’ them.  

Griffin, who has a long criminal record with 60 previous burglaries, admitted the recent offences and was jailed for two years and seven months.

Marc Griffin, pictured, 42, also left fridges in the mortuary open and stole the keys to a hearse during the raid on the chapel of rest in Barnstaple, Devon

He ransacked the Padfields Funeral Service (pictured the first office of the mortuary in Barnstaple) after arriving cut and leaving a trail of blood in his destructive wake

He ransacked the Padfields Funeral Service (pictured the first office of the mortuary in Barnstaple) after arriving cut and leaving a trail of blood in his destructive wake

Just hours before the funerals of their loved ones, the families of the deceased were told of the crimes against victims including a 99-year-old former World War Two servicewoman, a 90-year-old grandfather and a 94-year-old great-grandmother.

The families wrote victim impact statements, with one saying: ‘It is hard to express the depth of my anger and upset which has aggravated our family’s grief. 

‘My mother was in a place where she should have been safe and at peace.

‘I was horrified that someone had broken in and disturbed Mum. The whole family is devastated that she has been violated in this way. 

‘We have been robbed of the chance to remember and grieve and it has magnified the trauma of her death.’

Another relative said: ‘The thought of someone opening the fridge and searching for items of jewellery has left us sickened and upset. 

‘Our family are deeply shocked and horrified that the sanctuary of the funeral directors has been violated.’ 

During the half an hour crime spree in the early hours of March 13 this year, Griffin also burgled a café and a hair salon, stealing a till and charity boxes (Pictured: Sophisticut beside Padfield's second office)

During the half an hour crime spree in the early hours of March 13 this year, Griffin also burgled a café and a hair salon, stealing a till and charity boxes (Pictured: Sophisticut beside Padfield’s second office)

Griffin, aged 42, of St Johns Road, Barnstaple, admitted three commercial burglaries and was jailed for two years and seven months by Judge Paul Cook at Exeter Crown Court. Pictured: Sophisticut

Griffin, aged 42, of St Johns Road, Barnstaple, admitted three commercial burglaries and was jailed for two years and seven months by Judge Paul Cook at Exeter Crown Court. Pictured: Sophisticut

Althea Brooks, prosecuting, said Griffin cut his hand while smashing his way into the Lemon Next To The Pie cafe (pictured) and left blood at the scene of the burglaries of funeral director Padfields and the Sophisticut hair salon

Althea Brooks, prosecuting, said Griffin cut his hand while smashing his way into the Lemon Next To The Pie cafe (pictured) and left blood at the scene of the burglaries of funeral director Padfields and the Sophisticut hair salon

Griffin, aged 42, of St Johns Road, Barnstaple, admitted three commercial burglaries and was jailed for two years and seven months by Judge Paul Cook at Exeter Crown Court.

Mr Cook told the burglar: ‘In the past, you have stolen from the living. On this occasion, you set out to steal from the deceased. 

‘You demonstrated a total indifference to their dignity and to the pain distress and horror which you inevitably caused to their loved ones.

‘They say you robbed them of their chance to grieve and magnified their trauma many times over.’

During the half an hour crime spree in the early hours of March 13 this year, Griffin also burgled a café and a hair salon, stealing a till and charity boxes. 

Althea Brooks, prosecuting, said Griffin cut his hand while smashing his way into the Lemon Next To The Pie cafe – a four minute walk from the funeral parlour. 

He then left blood at the scene of the burglaries of the funeral director Padfields and the nearby Sophisticut hair salon.

The owner of the Lemon Next To The Pie café was so upset by the burglary that she sold her business a few weeks later.

Griffin, an addict, claimed to have raided the shops because he was desperate for money to buy drugs. 

Evie Dean, defending, said he had long-standing issues with substance abuse.

She said: ‘He tells me he was deeply embarrassed about his actions and has indicated remorse.’


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button