Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

'Heartache' at burial grave error

Daniel Hastelow
Daniel Hastelow had been working as a barman when he was stabbed

The family of a man who was murdered in Spain and later buried in the wrong grave in the West Midlands has said they do not want his body moved again.

Daniel Hastelow, 26, of Walsall Wood, West Midlands, was stabbed in Majorca in 2008. His family campaigned for two years for his body to be flown home.

But last week he was buried in a plot reserved for the widow of another man.

Jean Best, the man's widow, said: "I am very upset and it's in the hands of my solicitor."

Mr Hastelow was accidentally buried beside Michael Best, at St John's Church in Walsall Wood.

Church law

Mr Hastelow's sister Clare Peters said: "Danny's been through so much, that's where he stays now.

"He's already been exhumed, I don't want him to be exhumed again, definitely not. He's been through so much in his short life, he cannot be exhumed again, it would break my mum's heart."

The Diocese of Lichfield said Mrs Best had reserved the plot, as her final resting place, when her husband was buried there in January.

It said the Church of England had granted her the legal right to be buried next to Mr Best and the matter would have to be referred to the consistory court, which deals with matters of church law.

Reverend Nigel Carter has since publicly apologised to the families and the diocese is working with both parties to reach a solution agreeable to both.

Church court

If no solution can be found, both parties may be called upon to make representations to a church judge to argue their case, the diocese said.

"The chancellor of the diocese, His Honour Judge Marten Coates, who presides over the Lichfield consistory court, would then issue a judgement with a ruling over what should happen," a spokesman said.

Mr Hastelow had been working in a bar in Majorca when he was murdered in January last year.

His family campaigned for his body to be flown home, but Spanish police said they needed to keep it for evidence.

Richard Roberts, 36, from Merseyside, was later convicted of his murder and jailed for 18 years.

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