Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Case of Hearse Harassment...

Making a living out of death is never a simple existence. It may lead to unusual quirks or humor or, in the case of one undertaker in Sydney, Australia, to criminal behavior.

Adam Lee of the cheerfully named Caring Funerals has faced a rough year. In September, he was found guilty of fraud over the mix-up of two corpses. Two bodies, one to see a traditional burial and the other cremation, were erroneously swapped several years prior and bereaved families were compensated for his misdeeds.

But now, it seems Adam found himself in Sydney court again this past week. The 37-year-old unlucky mortician was charged with stalking.

It appears that in December of 2004, Adam drove his hearse in an intoxicated state. He followed Maureen Wyer through the city streets, blowing his horn and unleashing a verbal torrent of obscenities. The incident had been random, since Lee had never previously met Wyer. In court on Tuesday, his lawyer acknowledged Lee's habit of binge drinking on weekends and "deteriorating... mental state". Earlier this year, Adam was found guilty of driving under suspension, "driving in a menacing manner", and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

He was found guilty Thursday of four offenses. Although he has been placed on an 18-month bond for good behavior, his license has been suspended for two years and he was fined an additional $400. A doctor's report submitted to the court showed a history of depression and abuse of alcohol, so he was further ordered to undergo psychological treatment.

So remember: if you've been drinking, it might not be wise to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. But more importantly, embalming while intoxicated could catch you in just as much legal trouble.

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