DEVASTATED: L-R Niece Kerry Rothery and son Mick Valigura with a framed photo of Janice Valigura nee Rothery who was allegedly placed in a pine coffin by a funeral director after the family had purchased an expensive casket.
DEVASTATED: L-R Niece Kerry Rothery and son Mick Valigura with a framed photo of Janice Valigura nee Rothery who was allegedly placed in a pine coffin by a funeral director after the family had purchased an expensive casket. Chris Ison ROK100118cfuneral2

'Coffin switch' saga: Family vows to keep fighting industry

A DISAPPOINTED Kerry Rothery has vowed to keep up the fight for tougher funeral industry regulations after a Rockhampton parlour was cleared of any legal wrongdoing.

The niece of the late Janice Valigura spearheaded a world-wide outcry after she sparked a police investigation into Harts Family Funerals following an alleged "coffin switch".

Speaking from her Rockhampton home, Ms Rothery said she did not regret the action the Valigura family took against business owner Tony Hart, who yesterday explained his actions.

 

Janice Valigura nee Rothery
Janice Valigura nee Rothery

"It's time to have peace," Ms Rothery said.

The Queensland Police Service closed the investigation on Wednesday after no evidence was found to "substantiate a criminal offence".

Mr Hart promised to never remove a person from their original coffin again, no matter the circumstances, as he explained Mrs Valigura was temporarily moved into a "transporter shell coffin" due to a delay.

 

Tony Hart of Harts Family Funerals.
Tony Hart of Harts Family Funerals. Allan Reinikka ROK170118ahart2

Ms Rothery said the world-wide media coverage gained from her family's experience made people aware of the potential dangers that could happen in an unregulated funeral industry.

"We never expected it to gain so much exposure, but I'm glad it did," she said.

"We wanted to make people aware and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to our story."

 

DEVASTATED: L-R Niece Kerry Rothery and son Mick Valigura with a framed photo of Janice Valigura nee Rothery who was allegedly placed in a pine coffin by a funeral director after the family had purchased an expensive casket.
DEVASTATED: L-R Niece Kerry Rothery and son Mick Valigura with a framed photo of Janice Valigura nee Rothery who was allegedly placed in a pine coffin by a funeral director after the family had purchased an expensive casket. Chris Ison ROK100118cfuneral8

After an exhausting week for the family, Ms Rothery said she hoped they could all finally grieve naturally now the case was closed.

"We aren't unhappy with the outcome, but I will be pushing as much as I can to make sure things change in the industry," she said.



Two women taken to hospital after Kabra car crash

Two women taken to hospital after Kabra car crash

The car reportedly crashed into a fence

Diverse construction, design projects take out top gongs

Diverse construction, design projects take out top gongs

CQ Master Builders Awards winners revealed

Minor premiers Yeppoon take on Norths in Sunday showdown

premium_icon Minor premiers Yeppoon take on Norths in Sunday showdown

Coach Scott Minto: "We know what's at stake”

Local Partners