Grieving man’s horror after wife’s coffin ‘gets jammed in grave’ at funeral

A grieving husband has shared his nightmare ordeal after his wife's coffin became "jammed head first" in front of hundreds of shocked funeral-goers.

Vincent McGuire, 60, tragically lost his wife Elaine, 53, to a long illness in September and wanted to give the "adored" mum-of-three the perfect send-off at Mill Lane Cemetery in Cheadle, Stockport.

But what was meant to be a beautiful goodbye, turned into a "shocking" dark "comedy" after her coffin wouldn't pass through the grave, reports Manchester Evening News.

The grandmother-of-two was meant to be lowered in the structure however, the service was put to a halt when the coffin became trapped.

Upon arriving from the church at the Stockport Council-run cemetery, Mr McGuire says he was told by the funeral directors that he could not act as a pallbearer because the burial needed to speed along as the grave was "buckling".

It was reported that a member of cemetery staff had to use the ladder to climb into the 9ft-deep grave and remove some levels of timber shoring before it was re-lowered.

Mr McGuire said: "It went down head-first, went down three feet then got jammed at the back.

"One of the other mourners intervened and told them to take it out. It got lifted back out and left on the ground."

Mr McGuire claims he couldn't bury his wife in the plot he originally chose and said the funeral live stream was "shabby and unprofessional".

"I still can't sleep", Mr McGuire added. "I wanted to give her the best and what we got was rubbish."

Elaine's mother Josie Buckley, 80, said: "It was horrendous. The worst experience ever. It was like watching a comedy on the television, it wasn't real. It would have been funny if it wasn't so tragic."

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Mr Maguire has been pursuing complaints against Kane Funeral Services and Stockport Council ever since. He lodged a claim at the county court in a bid to recoup £2,035 paid to Kane for "professional services".

A judgement ordering Kane's to pay him the money was issued last month after the company failed to reply. The funeral firm said it was not aware of the legal proceedings.

The council told Vincent that an 'air pocket' caused the surrounding ground to become unstable which meant the burial had to be conducted more quickly.

They offered to pay for a priest to come and send prayers again at the graveside. However, the authorities claimed the information given to them about the size of the casket was "not accurate".

A spokesman for Kane Funeral Services said: "We can confirm that the funeral of the late Elaine McGuire was carried out with the utmost care and consideration as all funerals the company undertakes are.

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"We are aware of the situation in question and while we understand why and how this would have been upsetting for Mr McGuire, we provided the staff at Mill Lane with the correct measurements.

"This is no way helps alleviate the pain he feels and we here at Kanes offer our most sincere and heartfelt condolences, we have had several conversations with Mr McGuire in which we tried our very best to help him get answers to why the issue with the grave had occurred.

"The outer measurements of the casket were provided and we have proof of this through the coffin order form from Halliday's Funeral Supplies and the Internment form from Stockport Council."

An investigation was carried out by the council's complaints department and was partially upheld.

Mark Glynn, Director of Place Management at Stockport Council, said: "We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr McGuire for his loss and would like to once again offer our sincerest apologies for what transpired at such a difficult and traumatic time for Mr McGuire and his family."

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