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Superintendent suspended at baby ashes crematorium

Chapel of Remembrance Aberdeen Crematorium Image copyright Stanley Howe
Image caption Aberdeen's crematorium at Hazlehead is among those across Scotland under investigation

A senior member of staff at Aberdeen crematorium has been suspended amid an investigation into the handling of baby ashes.

Crematorium superintendent Derek Snow has been suspended from his post during the probe led by Dame Elish Angiolini.

The former Lord Advocate is looking at the possible mishandling of babies' ashes at crematoriums around Scotland, including Hazlehead.

An earlier city council investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing.

The crematorium at Hazlehead was among those across the country investigated after the scandal at the Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh, where it emerged staff had been burying babies' ashes in secret for decades.

BBC Scotland revealed last year that no ashes had been offered to the families of infants cremated in Aberdeen over a five-year period.

A group of parents alleging wrongful disposal of ashes launched legal action against Aberdeen City Council at the Court of Session in February.

And the local authority later revealed that it changed its processes for the cremation of children from November last year, recovering ashes and returning them to parents in all cases.

Patrick McGuire, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, who represent some of the affected families, said: "This is the start of justice being done for families in the North East.

"So far, Aberdeen City Council has been riding roughshod over the families' feelings.

"Aberdeen is the only local authority in the country which has failed to start meaningful discussions about compensation."

A spokeswoman for the local authority said: "We do not comment on individual staffing matters."

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