Man Loses Legal Bid To Stop Council Arranging Burials For Parents

14 July 2017, 17:11

Edinburgh Court

The son of a couple who died more than two decades ago has lost a legal bid to prevent the council arranging their burials.

Melvyn Marcel appealed against a judge's decision earlier this year granting Edinburgh City Council the authority to bury Eugenois and Hilda Marcel after their son made no arrangements to do so, keeping their remains at a property in Edinburgh for several years.

Hilda Marcel died on February 10, 1987 aged 68 while Eugenois died on August 31, 1994 aged 91.

Court of Session judges rejected Mr Marcel's appeal on Friday, a Judicial Office spokesman said.

In May 2002, police investigating another matter discovered the couple had not been buried but were stored in their son Melvyn's premises at Gilmour Place.

The embalmed bodies were moved to the city mortuary, where they were then stored.

Prosecutors were told of the discoveries but no proceedings were brought and the procurator fiscal said the bodies could be released for burial or cremation.

Edinburgh City Council has been discussing the burial of the couple with Mr Marcel since 2012 but applied for permission to bury them after he made no arrangements to do so.

In his written judgment in February, Lord Mulholland said the council understood Mr Marcel planned to build a refrigerated unit in his residential property within which the bodies would be stored.

This would be a temporary measure until an above-ground vault was built.

It is understood Mr Marcel's ultimate intention was to have the bodies of his parents transferred to the West Bank in the Middle East for burial.

Lord Mulholland in February said the city council has a ''statutory duty'' to dispose of the remains.

Commenting on the outcome of the proceedings on Friday, an Edinburgh City Council spokesman said: ''We acknowledge the Court of Session's decision and will take the necessary and appropriate steps to bury the bodies.''