Final closure for grieving victims of Skegness memorial firm

Roger Bennett started the Simply Memorials RIP Off group to find a grave for his father, also called Roger, which he has now finally received.
Roger Bennett started the Simply Memorials RIP Off group to find a grave for his father, also called Roger, which he has now finally received.

All of the grieving victims left out of pocket by a Skegness memorial firm have reportedly now been offered headstones to mark their loved ones’ graves.

The Simply Memorials RIP Off group has announced its campaign for justice has now drawn to a close after helping each of the 176 victims who got in touch.

Thanks to the generosity of other stonemasons, families who had spent hundreds, even thousands of pounds on headstones from Simply Memorials, which never arrived, have now been able to mark their relatives’ final resting place.

Campaign spokesperson Darren Harvey said: “With great offers of either free or discounted headstones to help the people that had been affected, we can now confirm that, as far as we are aware, everyone on our list has either received an offer, or is awaiting installation or delivery of a new headstone.

“This is with thanks to the stonemasons, NAMM [the National Association of Memorial Masons] for their cash donation and the families that had kindly donated to this cause.

“Without these people there would still be empty graves that needed to be filled.

“It seems we have come to the end of our campaign - one that has taken us all on an emotional ride over the last eight months.”

The group said it was ‘overwhelmed’ by the response its campaign generated in highlighting the ‘horrific ordeal’ so many grieving families had been through.

It has thanked stonemasons for their generosity, with particular praise offered to Darren Somerville of Somerville Stone, who advised and assisted the group with his industry knowledge.

The group still hopes that action will be taking against the company owner David Blakey, though investigations so far have not resulted in any prosecution.

Lincolnshire Trading Standards believed My Blakey to be a ‘small trader who ran into difficulties,’ rather than the perpetrator of an ‘intentional scam’.

The official receiver later identified company debts of around a quarter of a million pounds, much of which was owed to members of the campaign group, who vow to never forgive Mr Blakey.

“You have scarred many people’s lives for which you will never be forgiven,” said Mr Harvey.

“You have caused upset and pain to many people, all of which paid you for the simple task of giving their loved ones that final closure.

“We will never forget.”