Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Yoxford/Lowestoft: Funeral director to do 200 hours’ unpaid work after failing to hand over mourners’ charitable donations

07:00 16 February 2013

Funeral director Reginald Rivett arriving at Lowestoft Magistrates Court.

Funeral director Reginald Rivett arriving at Lowestoft Magistrates Court.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A FUNERAL director who failed to hand over charitable donations from mourners has been ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community.

Reginald Rivett, who ran R Rivett Ltd Funeral Directors based in Lowestoft, had struggled to keep proper records after he was forced to make his book-keeper redundant and the police were called in after bereaved relatives complained about charities not receiving donations collected at funerals months earlier, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Rivett, 60, of Woodland Cottage, Yoxford, admitted failing to keep adequate accounting records.

Ordering him to do 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community as part of a 12-month community order, Judge David Goodin said the offence did not cross the custody threshold.

He ordered Rivett, whose business collapsed following the police investigation, to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the prosecution but said he did not consider it necessary to disqualify him from being a company director.

Judge Goodin said five generations of Rivett’s family had worked for the “reputable and highly respected” business since it was founded in 1888.

He said the offence had been committed after the business had cash-flow problems after its overdraft facility was reduced by his bank and Rivett had been forced to make his book-keeper, who had been responsible for dealing with charitable donations, redundant.

He said that all money due had now been paid and it was accepted by the prosecution that Rivett had been chaotic rather than dishonest in relation to donations.

After yesterday’s hearing Rivett expressed his “sincere regret” for what had happened and apologised for the “considerable upset” caused to bereaved families.

He said he was relieved that the prosecution and the court had accepted he was not dishonest and that it was a case of administrative failings.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, told the court a number of bereaved families had contacted the police because of concerns about charity donations from funerals not being passed on months after the funerals had taken place, despite their efforts to chase things up.

“This caused them anxiety and distress,” Mr Vass said.

When police officers searched Rivett’s home and office they found a number of cheques made out to charities such as the British Heart Foundation, the RNLI and the Caister lifeboat appeal which had not been forwarded on to them by Rivett.

For Rivett, Steven Dyble said his client, who was of previous good character, realised he had let a number of people down and caused them considerable distress.

He said the company had subsequently collapsed as a result of the police investigation and adverse publicity.

1 comment

  • I think all undertakers will be tarred by the same brush now...?

    Report this comment

    Mrs J Buckley

    Monday, February 18, 2013

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

Stoke Bridge Telephone Box, Ipswich.

A campaign has been launched by the Teapot Project in Ipswich to save the Stoke Bridge telephone box and turn it into a hub providing for vulnerable people.

GB Paralympic swimmer, Ryan Crouch, is pictured at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

The Olympics may have finished but the Games are not over yet – next month it is the turn of the Paralympics to take over Brazil.

The EACHFest event held for service users of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and their families

Young people with life-threatening conditions were treated to their very own festival by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) recently.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A man was airlifted to hospital after a crash in Stowmarket yesterday.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss visited the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, in August as part of its Riverside Nights programme

A cinema has revealed plans to install a second screen – 100 years after it opened in a Suffolk town.

Jo Rothery's garden is plaqued by slugs. Her Earl Soham garden is set to feature on ITV's Garden Nightmares.

A Suffolk gardener who has been waging war on ‘cannibalistic’ slugs for the last four years will be sharing her Garden Nightmare with the nation this week.

Police thanked the public for their help

A man missing from Lowestoft has been found safe and well.

Alexanders College at Bawdsey

A boarding school is closing after more than 20 years of educating international students in east Suffolk.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Rail services between Ipswich and Lowestoft via Saxmundham have been delayed because of a bridge fault.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24