Funeral crasher in custody

A man who threatened to exhume a 90-year-old man's body has been referred for psychiatric assessment after an incident at a Christchurch cemetery.

Christchurch police removed the 25-year-old man from Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley this morning after he had contacted grieving relatives last night saying he could "raise the body".

He allegedly told the family he wanted to bring heavy machinery to dig up the casket.

He was taken into custody when he arrived at the cemetery about 11.45am and has now been referred to psychiatric emergency services for assessment. The grave was not disturbed.

"Police were contacted overnight after the man was reported to have threatened to exhume the body of a 90-year old man," a police statement said. "He had previously intruded on the funeral for the deceased man on Wednesday."

The man turned up uninvited at the Christchurch funeral for 90-year-old Harold Ritchie on Wednesday, banged on the coffin and told the deceased to "wake up".

He had called the family through last night and asked to meet them at Mr Ritchie's grave at 11am today.

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