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Dead son's bloody clothes shock for mother

CAROLYN HOARE: "It was shocking, disgusting"
CAROLYN HOARE: "It was shocking, disgusting"
Matthew Hoare was killed when a tyre exploded in his face
Matthew Hoare was killed when a tyre exploded in his face

A MOTHER was shocked to stumble on blood-soaked clothing cut off her dead son’s body and left in a carrier bag days after his tragic accident.

Carolyn Hoare, from Chartham, near Canterbury, received no warning about two bags of clothing belonging to her son Matthew, 21.

She said the gruesome discovery made while her son lay in his coffin at the undertakers made her sick to her stomach.

Mr Hoare, who worked for Watling Tyres in Sturry Road, Canterbury, was killed in January when a 5ft diameter loading shovel tyre he was servicing exploded in his face at Hamill Brick, near Sandwich.

The undertakers, F.C. Woods in Ashford, have apologised.

Mrs Hoare said: "It was shocking, disgusting. No one had told me I would find them there. The bags were tied together with hospital wrist bands. Someone from the hospital he had been taken to or the police could have spoken to me beforehand.

"I have seen dead bodies before and was able to stifle my disgust but someone else might have been shattered by that. I couldn’t have the clothing in the house and burned it as soon as I got home."

F.C. Woods’ manager Mark Spooner said: "We apologise unreservedly for the distress we have caused Mrs Hoare.

"We always ask clients what they would like us to do with any clothing, and respect their wishes. Unfortunately the clothes had been put in the chapel of rest before we had the opportunity to speak to Mrs Hoare about them."

Mrs Hoare also criticised a lack of liaison from police or the hospital in the days after the tragedy.

She was not told of his death for four hours and was denied access to her son until nearly 24 hours after his death. Only intervention from her GP got her in to the Buckland Hospital in Dover at 11.30pm to see her son’s body.

She said: "The police told me Buckland Hospital was shut and I would not be able to see him until 1pm the next day. The first thing most next of kin would want to do is see the body. There should be out of hours facilities in place to accommodate this.

"Without our GP’s involvement I would have had no idea who to contact to resolve the situation."

A spokesman for East Kent Hospital NHS Trust said: "We are sorry that Mrs Hoare and her family were unable to see her son as soon as she wished following his tragic death.

"Sometimes, following an accident, our staff need time to prepare damaged bodies so that the stress of the viewing is reduced and this can take time.

"Personal items belonging to a deceased person are normally passed to the undertaker who will be responsible for them after the handover."

An investigation by police and health and safety inspectors into Matthew’s death is underway.

Mrs Hoare said: "The health and safety investigator visited me and has kept me updated with developments, but police liaison has been non-existent.

"I have had clipboards put in my face to sign paperwork, but no communication on progress with the investigation into Matthew’s death."

A spokesman for Kent Police said: "Every sympathy goes to Mrs Hoare and we appreciate her frustration over the lack of contact she feels she has had from police while the investigation continues.

"Mrs Hoare will be contacted once the results of the tests are known and officers will keep her informed if there are any developments in the meantime."

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