Family wants justice after relative cremated without them knowing

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 07:17 16 July 2019

Peter Blissett's family only learned of his death after reading a report of his inquest in the Weston Mercury.

Peter Blissett's family only learned of his death after reading a report of his inquest in the Weston Mercury.

Archant

The family of a man who was found in Clevedon after taking an overdose say they want justice after he was cremated without them knowing.

Peter Blissett, aged 69, was found disorientated at Tesco in Clevedon in January after ingesting a number of tablets.

Mr Blissett, who had been living in his van, was taken to Weston General Hospital, where he died five days later.

His sister, Maureen Fleming, was not informed of his death even though her number was in his van along with his birth certificate and medical records.

She only learned of her brother's death when her daughter read a report on his inquest in the North Somerset Times in March.

More: Man who lived in van died from 'massive overdose'.

Maureen said: "I'm appalled. It's just a fluke my daughter happened to find out about it.

"It must have been a terrible shock for her.

"I want justice and a big apology."

Maureen's daughter Jane cannot believe they were left in the dark.

She said: "I was wrapping up some dead flowers in some newspaper and that's how I saw the story in the paper.

"If I hadn't seen it, my mother would never have known her brother had died.

"It doesn't seem just. It's prevented me from going to my uncle's cremation."

It took Jane weeks - and numerous phone calls to the police and coroner - to claim his ashes and try to determine why they had not been informed.

She is still waiting for answers.

She said: "I find it so hard to understand why nobody checked his van.

"They didn't even tell us there would be ashes we could collect.

"I keep ringing around and I'm told to get in contact with the person I've just spoken to.

"It's caused me a lot of distress because I've been trying so hard to get things done but nobody seems to want to help - I've been spoken to like an irritant."

The police involvement in the case ended when he was taken to hospital.

Hospital staff ask a patient whether they would like anyone to be contacted when they arrive, then when somebody dies in their care the person becomes the responsibility of the coroner.

When the Times contacted Avon Coroner's Court to find whether steps had been taken to track down Mr Blissett's family, coroner's officer Andy Broad said: "You are not entitled to that information."

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