Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Apology after burial grave mix-up

Daniel Hastelow
Daniel Hastelow was murdered in Majorca in January 2008

The body of man murdered in Spain was buried in the wrong grave, adding extra grief to his family who battled for nearly two years to get his body home.

Daniel Hastelow, of Walsall Wood, West Midlands, was stabbed in Majorca in 2008 and buried at St John's Church in the village earlier this week.

But the plot was reserved for the widow of another man, Michael Best, who was buried in January this year.

Reverend Nigel Carter has apologised and said he is seeking advice.

The Diocese of Lichfield said Mrs Best had reserved it so the couple could be buried side-by-side, but Mr Hastelow was inadvertently buried in the plot instead.

Killer convicted

"I have privately apologised to both families and I would like to repeat that apology publicly," Rev Carter said.

"I am only too aware of the level of additional grief that this error has caused the families and I want to work with them, and the Registry, to agree a solution which will be acceptable to everybody."

Mr Hastelow, who was working as a barman on the Spanish island, was celebrating his 26th birthday at the time of his death in January last year.

His family campaigned to have his body returned home, but Spanish police said they needed it for evidence.

Richard Roberts, 36, from Merseyside, was convicted of murder and was last month sentenced to 18 years in prison, after which Mr Hastelow's body was flown back to the UK.

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