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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Residents pay for body to go home
Kingsley House, Arbroath
Marek Smrs body was found outside Kingsley House, Arbroath
The body of a Czech fruit picker found dead in the street of a Scottish town is to be flown home after about 6,000 was raised by local residents.

The body of Marek Smrs, 21, from Brno, was discovered at about 0030 BST on Monday, 18 July outside Kingsley Guest House on Marketgait in Arbroath.

His family have decided that his body will be moved on Saturday so he can be laid to rest in his homeland.

Angus Council has also pledged cash for a memorial bench and plaque.

Both will be put in place near the spot where Marek's body was found.

'Heartbroken'

The fruit picker, who lived at Woodley Caravan Park with other seasonal workers from Eastern Europe, was discovered by Sue Smith.

Mrs Smith, 42, who had only moved to the town two weeks before, set up an appeal to raise money to help Marek's parents, who arrived in Scotland earlier this week.

Every morning Marek's parents sit down with all the letters and cards and a massive Czech-English dictionary and go through each word
Sue Smith
Local resident

The money will be used to pay for Marek's funeral and a memorial and headstone in Brno as well as travel expenses.

Mrs Smith, who has opened up her home to the Smrs family, said: "They are heartbroken, but they have had great comfort from people, not only from Arbroath but across Scotland, who have sent them cards and letters as well as donations.

"We all met and expressed our condolences and they are very sad. But they understand that these things happen everywhere.

"They don't speak any English at all. Every morning after breakfast they sit down with all the letters and cards and a massive Czech-English dictionary and go through each word.

"It is taking them hours. It is very touching."

Court appearance

Funeral director George Stewart also offered to take care of funeral arrangements free of charge.

Mr Stewart said: "It is tragic circumstances for his family to come across here.

"I said we would provide the funeral services free of charge, it was a gesture of compassion.

"In this case the family and the Czech Embassy have decided that Marek is to be sent back for a burial.

"Just because this thing happened here does not reflect on the people of Arbroath. The fact people have come out and raised money shows there are still nice people around."

Last week Adam Gallagher, 18, of Millgate Loan, Arbroath, appeared in private at the town's sheriff court in connection with the death and was remanded in custody.


SEE ALSO:
Man charged after Arbroath death
19 Jul 05 |  Scotland



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