Charles Cowling

David Durden



On July 21 2011 Sonny, the stillborn baby of Sandra and Sai Lao, was cremated. The Laos were distraught when they were told. They denied having signed the cremation forms. Co-op funeral director David Durden said no, they had, claiming they were so distressed they must have forgotten. Durden was taken to court, found guilty, fined £400, and ordered to pay £15 victim surcharge and £350 buy cialis 20mg australia court costs. Durden appealed against the sentence. 

When all this was happening, Mrs Lao contacted us. We publicised the case here and here

On 14 January 2012 Durden lost his appeal.  “Judge Cotter said it was “inconceivable” that Mrs Lao or her husband Sai Lao had mis-remembered the incident in Durden’s office at Co-operative Funeral Services in Crownhill.”


Hat tip to Teresa Evans for this.


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9 years ago

No, Mr XX, I’ve worked (as a celebrant) with Durden, and I believe he was not incompetent; nor indeed was he inexperienced, so he can only have known exactly what he was doing unless he was temporarily not in his right mind.

However, in looking for another explanation for his doing what he did, perhaps we need to be broad-minded enough to call on charitable as well as uncharitable thoughts. (Not that I can think of many of the former at the moment, I have to admit.)

9 years ago

I agree, incompetence and inexperience the most likely cause of this horrid, distressing act. I do wonder why, when the big two make these amazing blunders, (and we all know they do) do the courts not force them to do what the Murdoch’s / News Group newspapers did? The Dowler family, rightly got a reported million from Rupert and family. Several celebrities, who had their phone messages listened to, got hundreds of thousands in compensation. Clearly hitting the big profitable funeral firms in the bank balance would be likely to see an improvement in training and staffing levels. As ever,… Read more »