Family at dad’s wake ‘in shock’ after police turn up – as neighbour accuses them of not social distancing


The family of a man who died were left in shock when the police turned up at his makeshift wake after reports they weren’t standing two metres apart.

Following the death of Steven Smith, his wife and daughter Marissa and Kirsty shared a toast with other family members on their front lawn.

But the pair were left “disgusted” when officers arrived and said someone had complained after spotting them supposedly flouting social distancing rules.

They told  DerbyshireLive  all those involved when the police turned up lived under the same roof and the officers apologised.

They believe a neighbour reported them after a larger gathering of people saw 47-year-old Mr Smith’s cortège off from outside the Mackworth property earlier that morning.

The coffin was towed to the funeral on the back of a motorbike

Kirsty, 21, said even then everyone was keeping at a safe distance, adding that it was difficult enough only 10 people were allowed at his funeral due to pandemic guidelines.

“They came over to us and said they had been told people were not socially distancing and we could not believe what we were being told.

“We explained to them we all lived at the same address and that today was the funeral of our dad and they apologised and left.”

She continued: “We don’t know why anyone would report us as we get on so well with all of our neighbours.

“They all knew Steve, got on with him and knew about his death.

“It is just disgusting that at a time like this, when everyone is going through what we are, someone felt the need to wrongly report us.”

Mr Smith, who worked as a project manager on the railways, died on March 12, just three days after being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.

He and Marissa, 49, met 23 years earlier through a lonely hearts advert placed in the Derby Telegraph.

Kirsty said the incident happened outside their address in Wimbledon Road, on April 9 after they had returned from Trent Valley Crematorium, in Aston-on-Trent.

She said: “A few people had gathered as they knew it was dad’s funeral but everyone was staying well away from each other.

“Because of the new guidelines only 10 of us could attend his funeral but people still wanted to see the coffin leave.”

She went on to say her dad was a volunteer for the Blood Bikes and so another volunteer led the procession away with a wreath that read ‘RIP Steve’.

“It was pretty obvious to anyone looking what was happening,” continued Kirsty.

She said when they initially got home after the service they were told police had already been around once but those living at the house were at the funeral.

Kirsty admitted it was “hard enough” saying goodbye to her tragic dad at such a young age and having to remain three metres apart was “horrible”.

“But to have this happen to us as well was awful.

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“We weren’t having any type of after party or anything like that, we were just having a drink and a laugh remembering the good times with dad.

“We assume it was a neighbour who made the call to the police, we can’t think who else it might have been.

“But we had done nothing wrong,” she added.

As well as Kirsty, Steve also leaves children Kayleigh, 19 and Tom, 25.





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