Friday 30 September 2016

Man and his mother who claim to be 'huge Cilla Black fans' sneaked into private funeral and took pictures of her coffin being lowered into grave

* Cilla Black funeral gatecrashed by 'fans' who took pictures of grave and put them on Facebook
* Family hits out at 'disrespectful and ghoulish' behaviour

Jessica Staufenberg

Published 22/08/2015 | 19:22

The late Cilla Black
The late Cilla Black

A man and his mother claiming to be "huge fans" of the late Cilla Black have upset her friends and family by sneaking into her private funeral and taking photos of her grave.

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Twenty-four year old Shane Robinson and his mother were two of a small group who gatecrashed the invite-only ceremony by hiding behind trees or tagging onto guests as they went in.

Cill Black's funeral cortege arrives at St Mary's Church in Woolton
Cill Black's funeral cortege arrives at St Mary's Church in Woolton
Carol Vorderman
A fan holds the cover of an old Cilla Black LP outside St Mary's Catholic Church

After giving "unprecedented public access" to the church service, the family had specifically asked that no photographs or footage be taken at the burial.

But Robinson, a Preston bar manager, hid behind gravestones at the cemetery where the Surprise Surprise presenter was being laid to rest - taking close-up pictures of her casket and flowers.

The coffin of Cilla Black arrives at St Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool, ahead of her funeral service. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The coffin of Cilla Black arrives at St Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool, ahead of her funeral service. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Sir Cliff Richard arrives for the funeral of Cilla Black at St Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The coffin of Cilla Black makes its way to St Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool, ahead of her funeral service. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Carol Vorderman arrives for the funeral of Cilla Black at St Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool. Photo: Ray Tang/REX Shutterstock/PA Wire

The footage, described as "disrespectful and ghoulish" by the family, was then uploaded to Facebook along with a message that did not seem to take into account explanations by security that they were upsetting the family.

"Honoured to have been so close watching the burial of Black and to be stood with Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard," wrote Robinson on his Facebook page before media contacted him and he closed his account.

"We got so close. There was loads of people there - celebs and the public. We didn't speak to any of the celebrities but we were stood really near to them all," he told The Sun.

A source told The Sun: "It's a disgrace. After Cilla's family were so generous in allowing fans to mourn with them, to have these individuals defy their wishes in such a tasteless way is unbelievable."

Black, the much-loved TV presenter and singer, died on 1 August after a fall at her home in Estepona in Spain.

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