Funeral cancelled after vandals trash undertakers’ vehicles

  • london
  • April 3, 2023
  • Comments Off on Funeral cancelled after vandals trash undertakers’ vehicles

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A funeral had to be cancelled after five undertakers’ vehicles were damaged by a gang in a ‘disgusting’ vandalism spree.

The three hearses and two limousines were parked ready for the ceremony the following morning when they were attacked by the group of youths.  

They kicked off wing mirrors and hurled a traffic cone at windscreens before a girl jumped on the bonnet of one of the vehicles in Hayes, West London.

She climbed up after a Mercedes badge was ripped off the front of the hearse by the group, who were caught on CCTV descending on parked vehicles in broad daylight at around 6pm on Thursday.

Family-run LCK Funeral Support Services has had to refund the mourners and been left having to repair and replace the specialist vehicles – one of which has been written off due to the damage.

Co-director Katie McCafferty, who runs the business along with her dad, Alan McCafferty, said the vandalism had hit a company that was working hard to provide a service to bereaved families. 

She said: ‘We got a phone call on the evening from a neighbour saying these kids were vandalising the cars.

‘When we got there they’d damaged a whole street’s worth of cars and in a service road at the front of our premises.

‘They’d kicked off the wing mirrors, ripped off the petrol caps and used a traffic cone to smash the windows.

‘There was a little Mercedes badge on the front of one of the hearses which three boys ripped out and put on the bonnet for one of the girls to jump on.

‘It’s disgusting to see these children running around vandalising things that we’ve worked all our lives for.’

Two of the funeral vehicles, including the one damaged beyond repair, belonged to the firm, which supports other directors with staff, vehicles and transportation. The remaining cars belonged to Ms McCafferty’s brother, Christopher McCafferty, who runs M&R Funeral Carriages.

While the vehicles were insured, the specialist nature of the fleet makes the damage time-consuming to repair.

‘One of the vehicles has been written off completely because every single panel is damaged and we are waiting on a quote to come back on them all being fixed,’ Ms McCafferty said.  

‘They had been parked outside in a service road ready for a funeral in the morning. We had to cancel the booking and pay the fees back to the family because none of the funeral cars could be used.  

‘It saddens us as a family business who have working so hard to get to where we’re at and these children can just come along and ruin it.

‘We won’t be able to send out any cars for a funeral for a couple of weeks until it’s all fixed. A hearse isn’t something you can get from Enterprise, only certain places have them available for hire, otherwise we’ll just have to wait for the repairs to be done.’

The support service has reported the incident in Vancouver Road and Welbeck Court to the Metropolitan Police and shared the video footage online in an appeal for people to come forward. 

It’s thought the youths were returning home after school.

Ms McCafferty said: ‘A lot of people have messaged us with the names of the children and the schools that they go to.

‘But our fear is that they will be just let off and nothing will happen to make them responsible for what they’ve done to our livelihood, to the people who are grieving loved ones and to the local residents’ property.’ 

The Metropolitan Police is appealing for information about the incident.

A spokesperson said: ‘Police were called at approximately 19:00hrs on Thursday, March 30 to reports of a number of vehicles damaged in Vancouver Road, Hayes.

‘Enquiries into the circumstances, including obtaining and analysing CCTV, remain ongoing.’

Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101, tweet @MetCC and quote CAD6927/30Mar or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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