TWO youngsters have been left traumatised after uncovering a shocking picture of a laughing embalmer appearing to hold a severed head.
The gruesome image of smirking David Amor, 26, was found on a mobile phone in a ditch in Aylesbury by a brother and sister, aged 12 and 10, at the weekend.
On Tuesday, the British Institute of Embalmers (BIE) said it was shocked at the disrespect shown to the unknown dead man, who is believed to have been hit by a train.
The photo, along with three others which appear to show a decapitated body, was among a number of files on a discarded BlackBerry phone.
It is unclear where the photograph was taken.
The children’s father, who the Herald agreed not to name, said he had put the phone’s memory card into his computer, hoping to find out who to return it to.
But he was shocked at the images.
He said: “The kids screamed and ran out of the room.
“At first I wasn’t sure if it was real, until I started clicking through the rest of them.
“It’s really upset my daughter, she doesn’t want to talk about it or go near the phone, she’s really traumatised.”
He said the children had looked through the phone hoping to find details of the owner, stating: “It’s like when you find a wallet, you look inside to see if there’s anything to say who it belongs to.
“But after finding that, I don’t want to get in touch with this guy.”
Also on the phone’s memory card was a spreadsheet containing a list of embalming appointments, and a business card for Mr Amor.
The distraught father said: “It’s a total lack of respect for the dead.
“That was probably someone’s father, someone’s son and someone’s brother, it’s unbelievable to think they could do that to someone.” The grim discovery was made on Sunday in a ditch behind Langstone Court, in Aylesbury.
This week Karen Caney, from the British Institute of Embalmers, said relatives of the deceased would be appalled if they saw the image.
She told the Herald: “I would have thought that the family would want to take this further.
“We have a code of ethics, where you treat everyone with respect.
“Our mode of teaching is that you treat each person as if they were a member of your own family.
“I wouldn’t dream over ever making fun of anybody, or treat it as a joke.
“If it was one of our members, they’d be on a disciplinary, and thrown out of the institute.”
Although the business card found on the phone carries the logo of the institute, the organisation said it has no record of Mr Amor.
And the institute boss added: “The only time embalmers would normally take a photo would be if the family has given permission, and it could be used for educational purposes.
“The only other time would be if someone was going abroad to be buried.”
The south Bucks number on Mr Amor’s business card is currently unavailable.
A source close to Mr Amor, of Harris Court, Aylesbury, branded the photograph ‘degrading’, and said: “He shouldn’t have had that on his phone.
“It sounds really bad, but he was mucking about with the body.”
Thames Valley Police has said it was not aware of the photos, but said officers would be investigating to decide whether any laws had been broken.
A spokesman said: “We will want to have a look at this to make a decision before we can decide how to proceed.”
Embalming is the process by which bodies can be preserved, so they can be displayed at the person’s funeral.
Mr Amor’s business card, discovered on the phone’s memory card, advertises his embalming services at £50 for ‘straight cases’, and £60 for ‘PM cases’.
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