A British woman is to face trial in Portugal after she allegedly buried the body of her late husband in the back garden of their home.
Piano teacher Louise Khan, 46, is then alleged to have contacted Alyn Pennycook’s children via Facebook to tell them that the 59-year-old had died.
When his daughter contacted her to sort out the funeral, she responded saying ‘All taken care of. All done and dusted.’
Mr Pennycook, a 59-year-old Scotsman, is believed to have died after suffering from terminal cancer.
Officers believe he died in September or October but Miss Khan, originally from Lochgelly, Fife, failed to report his death to the authorities in Portugal or Britain.
The daughter told the Daily Record: ‘On Facebook it was a very quick message. She just said “Oh yes, your father died”.’
She added: ‘She’s a horrible, horrible person. I don’t understand why she would have buried him like that. I thought he would have died in hospital if it was a brain tumour.’
She was arrested and held in custody ‘for the presumed practice of at least one crime of corpse desecration’ following the discovery of the body on February 9.
She has since been released on the condition she reports to a local police station and is due to stand trial later this month. She could face up to two years in prison if convicted.
Miss Khan, who had lived at the property in Linhares near the city of Guarda for more than three years, is being assisted by UK government officials.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: ‘We remain in contact with the Portuguese police following the arrest and subsequent conditional release of a British woman in Guarda.’
Neighbours of the couple raised the alarm with police after growing suspicious when Mr Pennycook was not spotted at the property for several months.
Police located the body by using ground penetrating radar on land next to Miss Khan’s home.
An autopsy carried out on the body is said to have shown no signs of violence.
One neighbour said Miss Khan and her husband ‘were a couple with an alternative lifestyle, much like the hippies.’
She was brought before a judge at a court in Guarda last week for a summary hearing where a lawyer asked for more time to prepare the case.
In a statement Policia Judiciaria (PJ) in Portugal said: ‘A 46-year-old woman has been arrested for the presumed practice of, at least, one crime of corpse desecration.
‘The body is believed to be that of a 59-year-old Scotsman, found and exhumed by members of the PJ police and the Scientific Laboratory Police.’