Two sisters branded 'scumbags' for stealing funeral wreaths and selling on for profit
Two sisters were branded "scumbags" when they appeared in court for stealing funeral wreaths to sell on for profit.
Marion Hill, 42, and Lyndsay Millett, 37, were involved in a "commercial enterprise" snatching wreaths from at least one cemetery, Liverpool Magistrates' Court heard.
They took two wreaths, "Mum" and "Nan", just hours after they had been left by the grieving family of Bridget Jennat, 82, after her funeral at Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool, on May 7.
Her son Chris Jennat attended court today to see Hill and Millett sentenced.
Hill was jailed for 10 weeks while Millett was given eight weeks jail suspended for 12 months after both were found guilty of theft at an earlier hearing.
Outside court Mr Jennat, from Anfield, Liverpool, who discovered the wreaths had been stolen, said: "It was just disbelief, really.
"I don't think you could stoop any lower. They're scumbags. There are no other words for them. They were doing this to sell them on.
"They were both doing it so both should have gone to jail for about six months.
"Hopefully it won't happen again."
Andrew Hodgson, prosecuting, told the court there had been a number of wreaths and other items stolen from the cemetery and Liverpool City Council had installed CCTV as a result.
When the Jennat family reported the thefts Merseyside Police checked the CCTV.
Mr Hodgson said that at 8.55pm on May 7, the cameras caught Hill and Millett pulling up in a hired Land Rover Discovery, get out, pick up the wreaths, costing £90 each, put them in the car and drive off.
Police went to Hill's home on Almeda Road, Speke, south Liverpool, on May 16, and found wreaths, blank condolence cards, wreath stands and what Liverpool magistrates were told was "wreath-making paraphernalia." A photo album packed with various pictures of floral tribute arrangements was also found.
The two defendants claimed the wreaths were for their late mother's grave, but magistrates rejected their defence at an earlier hearing - concluding they were running a business, selling on stolen wreaths.
Leanne Kennedy, defending both women, said: "They are both extremely ashamed of their actions.
"Since it has been reported in the press they themselves have been on the receiving end of threatening behaviour.
"This has been a lesson they will not forget."
Ms Kennedy said both had been sacked as play centre workers after the pair were branded "Tomb Raiders" in the local paper and Millett also evicted from her home due to the "backlash."
District Judge Richard Clancy said he made a distinction between the defendants and because Millett, of East Darnwood Road, Liverpool, had no previous convictions, she would be spared jail.
But Hill, who had previous convictions for dishonesty, would go to jail immediately.
He told the pair: "I have to say this is a most disgraceful offence and one that would not be tolerated by any civilised society.
"It's a shameful and disgraceful thing."
Both women were also ordered to pay £250 compensation.