Four employees axed from Gillman Funeral Services following undercover documentary
Four employees have been sacked at a funeral directors after an undercover reporter filmed corpses left unrefrigerated and racism against mourners.
The staff were dismissed from Gillman Funeral Services, in Garratt Lane, Tooting, after they were secretly filmed by Tom Ellis mocking the dead, calling one "scum" because he was a Chelsea supporter and making racist comments against friends and relatives.
The shocking footage was broadcast in an ITV documentary which also showed corpses were seen being stored without refrigeration, with a staff member even commenting on the smell.
Bingo sessions were organised at care homes as a way to drum up business, and a member of staff admitted to exploiting devout communities such as Ghanaian and Jamaican families by offering expensive services.
The quartet were axed after the business's parent company, Funeral Partners Ltd (FPL), conducted an internal investigation two weeks after the story was first broken.
Phillip Greenfield, FPL chief executive, said: "Their comments and actions disgusted not only myself and their fellow colleagues but rightly incurred the wrath of the whole community.
"I want to reiterate my heartfelt apology to everyone who has been affected by this, especially families of the deceased in our care. We are extremely sorry for any distress and hurt that has been caused.
"Having followed due legal process, we have dismissed four people and a fifth has been suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing. We have also commissioned an independent inquiry to look into this."
A fifth member of staff at the directors, which also has also has branches in Croydon, Balham and Battersea, has been suspended.