Scots expat in Portugal fined for burying dead husband in garden

Published:  9 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Euro, Emigration
A Scots widow living in Portugal has been let off with a fine after burying her late husband in their garden.

Edinburgh-born Louise Khan and her husband Alyn had emigrated to Portugal from Fife some four years ago, hoping to enjoy a long and happy retirement in the warm Portuguese sunshine. Sadly, Alyn was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour at a Manchester hospital and decided to return to Portugal and die rather than undergo treatment. After he’d passed away, Louise obeyed his last instructions and buried him in their garden.

Later, she defied his request to keep his death secret from his estranged son and daughter from his previous marriage, letting them know about their father’s death and burial. She also told Killian Steel, Aly’s long-term friend in Edinburgh about his death, saying his instruction were to bury him in their much-loved garden. Talking with local media, Killian said the couple had doted on one another, adding the thought of digging a grave for your beloved partner and burying him is heartbreaking. He added he’s certain Louise thought she was within the law with her decision.

When the news of her action got out, Louise was arrested by local Portuguese police, held in custody for three days and accused of corpse desecration, a crime in Portugal which carries a sentence of imprisonment for up to two years. After hearing rumours, local police had surveyed the garden with ground penetrating radar, thus locating Alyn’s body. The case was heard at regional level in Celorica Da Biera, with the court finding her guilty. Fortunately, the widow was simply fined the sum of 780 euros and would only be jailed for 65 days should she refuse to pay the fine.
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