Two grieving daughters have lashed out at a funeral director couple, accusing them of leaving their late mother’s body in the back of a funeral van while they partied at a country music festival.
In dramatic footage which aired on Channel 9’s A Current Affair, one woman broke down in tears recalling how she discovered her elderly mother’s body had been abandoned in the van for several hours – while the other daughter was seen launching herself through a car window to attack the female funeral director in a fit of rage.
Funeral directors Terry and Shirley Goater were confronted by the camera crew in Moree, NSW, following the death of great-grandmother Judith Newman in July.
The show explained that Judith had paid the Goaters $6500 for her funeral before she died, hoping her close friends would organise a respectful ceremony for her. However, once they collected her body from the Fairview nursing home and told her devastated family they would be taking her straight to a morgue, they instead left her in the back of the van overnight.
The Goaters insisted on the show that they only made the decision to leave her there because there was nobody at the morgue to receive her. They said they left the van running so it remained refrigerated.
However, it’s claimed that the next morning they turned it off and drove another vehicle to a country festival over an hour away – where the proceeded to record social media videos of the dancers performing there. All the while, Judith’s body lay waiting in the back of the van at the dilapidated industrial site.
Judith’s daughter Kay broke down in tears as she slammed the couple for their actions on camera.
“I can’t explain the hurt in here that somebody would do that to another human being,” she said. “It’s all I can think of, of a night time, is mum in the back of that van in a body bag.”
It wasn’t over there, as the daughters also claimed their mother’s body was brought to the church in the same van rather than a hearse, with the stand for her coffin not even cleaned beforehand.
“Even the stand at the funeral you put the coffin on it was all just all cobwebbed and dusty,” Kay added.
Kay’s sister Dianne had a much angrier response to the nightmare, as she brandished a bat on camera and admitted she wanted to “smash” Shirley for the hell they were going through. She later added of the funeral itself: “Here’s Shirley with a cup of McDonald’s coffee in her hand. There’s a time and a place to have a cup of coffee, not at someone’s funeral.”
In a dramatic moment on camera, Dianne was then seen screaming at Shirley through a car window before launching herself at her – sparking police to attend the scene. Terry Goater has since applied for an AVO against Dianne.
According to the show, the matter will be heard in Moree local court next Monday.