A deceased 71-year old former funeral director from Strabane has been fined a posthumous £60 and warned about future conduct after the hearse he was resting in was caught doing 44mph in a residential 30mph zone in the town last night.
Jeremiah Pauncefoot, who passed away on Monday after a short illness, was making his way to his final resting place in a top-of-the-range solid panelled oak coffin when the hearse he had previously owned was flagged down by a PSNI officer on the Clady Road.
The young driver, who had just started work experience at the Pauncefoot Funeral Service, used his dead boss’s licence when asked for ID before finishing the journey and jumping on a boat to England.
Defendant for the deceased Fergie Logie admitted he was annoyed at the judge’s decision:
“Pauncefoot may have been a miserable funeral director when he was alive but one thing he definitely wasn’t was a speedster. That young trainee should be forking out the fine, whoever he was. Fortunately Jeremiah had a jar full of money in his office which was always suspected to be bribes he took from independent bereavement counselling companies in exchange for the addresses of the recently deceased. That’ll cover the fine and my fees.”
West Tyrone PSNI spokesman Rory Gilgull has warned undertakers across the county to be on their guard as this is just the start of a clamp-down on funeral directors who think they’re above the law.
“Undertakers are a menace on our roads and we’re prepared to take them on. Their intimidation of other road users has to stop. Last week a petrified pensioner was shouted at in her Micra by an undertaker who bellowed ‘move over old lady or you’re next‘ and winked whilst pointing to the back of the hearse. They’re ruthless and they park all over graveyards.”
Jeremiah Pauncefoot’s business has been bought over by his son, Darkness.
Worried Coalisland residents have signed and handed in a petition to local undertaker Padjoe Dorman, demanding that he maintain a consistent facial expression whilst out and about in the town.
Dorman, who claims he has absolutely no special ability to predict when old people will expire, has been accused of worrying hundreds of pensioners since he expanded his business last month by adding on an extension at the back of his premises. 77-year old retired wrestler Kenny Campbell from Annagher told us of his ordeal:
“I met Dorman outside the butchers on Christmas Eve and he winked at me with a smirk on his face. Then he says ‘I hope ye get time to ate that ok’. He’s trying to scare us into the grave. Some operator.”
81 year old Mary McAleer from Newtownkelly added to the catalogue of complaints:
“That man has me tortured. At the local nativity play in the Primate Dixon school he kept looking over at me and sizing me up and down, like as if he was measuring me. Then he nodded at me and closed his eyes really slowly. I’m not imagining it. I didn’t sleep for days after it and had to get nerve tablets. To be honest I’m still not well.”
Dorman has denied any accusations of skulduggery:
“I’m just a friendly fellow. I’m an ‘Island man to the core and I love my people, alive or dead. And to show no ill feeling towards those on the petition, if any of them die within the next five years, I’ll throw in a free embalming session. Now, you can’t get much better than that.”
Dorman also added he has opened an off-licence at the back of his premises.