Mass brawl in cemetery sees rival funeral directors fight in front of mourners

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Mourners attending a memorial service were left stunned when a mass brawl broke out between two rival funeral directors.

The shocking scenes of violence at the Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney, Australia reportedly came after both funeral cars arrived at the Catholic Office at the same time.

Grieving families and friends looked on in horror as Paul Lahood Jr, from a family-owned funeral directors of his father's name, allegedly punched John Francis from rival firm Sympathy Funerals in the face multiple times.

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Procedure at the cemetery says that cars must check in at the correct office before a vehicle owned by the cemetery begins the procession, leading the hearse and procession to the deceased's resting place.

Describing the bizarre incident to 2GB Radio, one witness said: "It was horrible. The priest was sitting beside the man that was allegedly injured. It was disrespectful and disgraceful."

Police in New South Wales confirmed that they were called to the cemetery following reports of an assault.

Officers were told that a 57-year-old man had been punched in the face several times after a verbal altercation.

Police said it was believed that the two men were known to each other.

A statement from the force said: "Following inquiries, police arrested a 35-year-old man about 3pm at Auburn Police Station.

"He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm; and common assault and was given bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on July 28 2022."

Paul Lahood Jr has since been suspended from the Funeral Association.

In Ireland last year a mass brawl at a funeral saw the coffin of a dead woman dropped to the floor as shocked mourners were forced to defend themselves.

Teresa Ward, 84, from County Galway was being buried when the fight broke out in moment of violence that ‘not even The Pope could have stopped’.

According to the Irish Mirror, two women and five men were seriously injured.


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