Family ‘appalled’ after learning of uncle’s inquest in paper

Peter Blissett's family only learned of his death after reading a report of his inquest in the Westo

Peter Blissett's family only learned of his death after reading a report of his inquest in the Weston Mercury. - Credit: Archant

A Weston woman wants ‘justice’ and an apology after her uncle was cremated without any family members being informed of his death.

Jane Fleming learned about Peter Blissett's death by reading about his inquest in the Mercury.

The 69-year-old lived in his van when he died of an overdose after ingesting a number of tablets.

More: Man who lived in van took 'massive overdose'.

He was found acting disorientated at Tesco in Clevedon in January and taken to Weston General Hospital, where he died five days later.

However, his family was not told of his death and Mr Blissett was cremated with no loved ones present.

His niece Jane said: "I was wrapping up dead flowers in some newspaper and that's how I saw the story in the Mercury.

"If I hadn't seen it, my mother would never have known her brother died.

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"It doesn't seem just. It's prevented me from going to my uncle's cremation."

Jane found Mr Blissett's van, which was still in Tesco car park, and inside was her uncle's birth certificate, medical card and a diary with her mum's number in it.

It took her weeks - and numerous phone calls to the police and coroner - to claim his ashes and try to determine why they had not been informed.

Jane is still waiting for answers, adding: "I find it so hard to understand why nobody checked his van.

"They didn't even tell us there would be ashes we could collect.

"I keep ringing around and I'm told to get in contact with the person I've just spoken to.

"It's caused me a lot of distress because I've been trying so hard to get things done but nobody seems to want to help - I've been spoken to like an irritant."

Her mum Maureen Fleming said: "I'm appalled. It's just a fluke my daughter happened to find out about it.

"It must have been a terrible shock for her. I want justice and a big apology."

The police involvement in the case ended when he was taken to hospital.

Hospital staff ask a patient whether they would like anyone to be contacted when they arrive.

If somebody dies in their care that person becomes the responsibility of the coroner.

When the Mercury contacted Avon Coroner's Court to find out if steps were taken to track Mr Blissett's family, coroner's officer Andy Broad said: "You are not entitled to that information."