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The girl carried out her Stone Age father’s burial after keeping his body in the house for days


A daughter kept her father’s corpse propped up in her favorite chair for days before secretly carrying out an illegal ‘Stone Age’ burial for him after he rejected modern medical help, an inquest has heard.

Eirys Brett, 32, followed in the footsteps of Father Donald, 78, to live a ‘particularly alternative’ off-grid lifestyle – and refused NHS care when he fell ill, suggesting treatments instead holistic.

The inquest heard that Mr Brett died and was left in his favorite chair next to a wood-burning stove for several days while his daughter and her partner dug a 6ft makeshift wooden grave.

He was buried in a red and teal cap, red t-shirt and harlequin chef’s pants. Her body was wrapped in a cotton hessian blanket with rope wrapped in a criss-cross pattern with brushes, flowers and a poem in the grave.

Det Con investigating officer Alex Stuart said: ‘They had a ritual. He wasn’t thrown in, he was strategically placed, it was some kind of Stone Age or Bronze Age burial, and then they covered the hole.

Eirys Brett, 31, pictured, carried out the secret campaign burial with her partner Mark Watson, 46, but broke the law as she failed to legally register the death of her father Donald

Eirys and Mark, of St Harmon, near Rhayader, Powys, received four-month suspended prison sentences at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, pictured

Eirys and Mark, of St Harmon, near Rhayader, Powys, received four-month suspended prison sentences at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, pictured

The inquest heard in the weeks before his death frail Mr Brett texted his daughter to say ‘maybe I should get NHS treatment’ when he started suffering from abdominal pain at home .

Eirys and her partner Mark Watson, 47, advised her against seeing a doctor and told her to take alternative medicine.

He came to stay with them so they could help him, but became “rather ill” and died soon after.

The inquest heard that Mr Brett wanted to be buried at his home – so the couple put his body in their red Vauxhall Corsa to drive to his cottage in June 2019.

DC Stuart said he placed Mr Brett in his favorite chair before digging his grave 100 yards from the house he had lived in for more than 25 years in Aberedw, near Builth Wells, Powys.

He said: ‘They started digging around a 6ft grave site. It wasn’t particularly wide. They dug it for several days while Mr. Brett was at home.

The inquest heard the alarm was raised by Mr Brett’s landlord after he had not been seen for weeks at his secluded stone cottage in Aberedw, near Builth Wells, Powys.

Mr Brett was buried in a grave 100 yards from the house he had lived in for over 25 years in Aberedw (pictured), near Builth Wells

Mr Brett was buried in a grave 100 yards from the house he had lived in for over 25 years in Aberedw (pictured), near Builth Wells

A search was launched before Eirys and Mr Watson were arrested by police at a rest area in the car they had used to transport Mr Brett’s body.

The couple were questioned by police in August 2019 before admitting to carrying out an unlawful burial without registering the death.

DC Stuart said: “They both identified roughly the same spot where he was buried.

“It was a full and candid confession from the start. They both fully admitted that he was illegally buried.

The inquest heard phone records showing Mr Brett relying on his daughter for treatment advice when he fell ill.

Eirys told police she believed her father had prostate cancer and advised him to seek holistic treatments.

But the inquest heard Mr Brett, who lived a “particularly alternative” lifestyle, had the ability to make decisions and was not coerced.

Friends told police Mr Brett would only seek medical treatment if ‘absolutely necessary’ at his cottage without electricity.

His ex-partner Alison Walker said he was ‘anti-establishment’ and told police his daughter Eirys shared his views.

Ms Walker said she last saw her living ex in June 2019 when he said to her: ‘Am I not lucky our daughter is looking after me.’

The inquest in Pontypridd, South Wales, heard Mr Brett had died that month – but his body was not discovered until two months later.

The inquest heard Mr Brett wanted to be buried at his home - so the couple put his body in their red Vauxhall Corsa to drive to his cottage in June 2019 (Pontypridd Coroner's Court pictured)

The inquest heard Mr Brett wanted to be buried at his home – so the couple put his body in their red Vauxhall Corsa to drive to his cottage in June 2019 (Pontypridd Coroner’s Court pictured)

Eirys and Mr Watson, of St Harmon, near Rhayader, Powys, were charged by police and later pleaded guilty to preventing a lawful and decent burial.

They were given a suspended four-month prison sentence by Merthyr Crown Court in July this year.

Judge Recorder Gregg Bull QC told them: ‘You took care to bury him. It wasn’t a rushed funeral in the middle of the night in a sneaky way.

“You chose to give him his last rites in what can only be described as a kind of pagan burial.

“Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and doesn’t comment on yours. But you should have gone about it differently.

Wednesday’s inquest heard a post-mortem examination which found the cause of death to be “undetermined” but there was no evidence of anything other than natural death.

Deputy Coroner Patricia Morgan recorded an open finding.

She said: “There is no evidence to suggest his death was suspicious.”

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