A grieving mother broke down in tears on television as she described the heartache she felt after her late son’s girlfriend refused to hand over his ashes, describing the woman’s alleged actions as “inhumane” and “unfair”.
Helen Bennett appeared on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, alongside her daughter Amanda, on Tuesday night where she claimed she is locked in a bitter dispute with her deceased son’s partner Sheree Brown, with the woman said to be withholding his ashes from Shayne’s family.
“It was bad enough just losing my son,” she said. “Then to have someone who is so nasty and cruel to do this to us is just wrong. It’s just not fair. She may have his ashes but I know where he is, he’s here in our heart.”
Wiping her eyes, Helen added: “There’s no words can describe her. It’s inhumane. The one person she’s hurt is my son and she says she loved my son, she’s lying. No one would do this to anyone.”
Shayne dated Sheree for six years, with their relationship falling within the legal limits of a De Facto relationship, despite Shayne having moved back in with his mum in Tuncurry November last year after Sheree was jailed on shoplifting charges.
One week after Shayne passed away on New Year’s Eve 2018 – having passed out drunk and failed to wake up – Sheree was released from jail. Despite a promise from Helen that Sheree could share his ashes and help with the funeral plans, she is reported to have made a successful application as his next of kin to have his body released to her, before holding her own funeral and having him cremated.
“We’ve got no closure,” Helen added.
His mum and sister claim he became “a different person” after meeting Sheree, with Helen adding: “I didn’t like her lifestyle, so I never had a lot to do with her.
While Shayne’s sister Amanda added: “He really wasn’t the same Shayne that we knew. She changed him and everybody knew it”.
This isn’t the first time Sheree has featured on A Current Affair, as she previously appeared on the news program after her grandfather accused her of leaving him homeless and penniless, claiming she kicked him out and stole his entire life savings.
Speaking on the show in August last year, Bruce Buckley, 77, made an emotional plea for police to look into his granddaughter Sheree’s alleged actions, claiming she committed fraud by faking his signature to sell his home for well under market value to Shayne without his knowledge.
A distraught Bruce, who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer 18 months earlier, said: “It’s hard to trust anyone… I trusted my family and they took me down. They were spending my money as fast as they could get it. I think she thought I’d be gone by now, that I’d have died – but I’m still here.”
At the time, the retired carpenter explained he helped to raise Sheree from a child, with the pair jointly owning the home in the Hunter region of New South Wales – however, he told the TV show their relationship began to disintegrate four years ago when Sheree met Shayne, claiming she became more secretive.