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Snakeskin, crystals used in bizarre burial ritual: police

A NIMBIN duo have faced court accused of concealing the death of Christopher Watt before burying him in a bizarre ritual.

Police allege Timothy Goodchild, 45, wrapped Mr Watt's body in a sheet, placed a snake skin around his head and crystals on his eyes before burying him on a Tuntable Falls property.

Mr Goodchild and Mr Watt's daughter, 40-year-old Urshla Vedda, appeared without lawyers before Lismore Local Court on Monday.

Police allege the duo - who have two children together - failed to report the death of Mr Watt, who had terminal pancreatic cancer.

According to court documents, Mr Watt's brother Martyn and his wife visited Ms Vedda's Nimbin home and found a note on the fridge stating: "caught blue bus at 1.07pm".

Police believe this was the time Mr Watt passed away on February 24, but Ms Vedda allegedly said her father was visiting friends. His body was recovered from a Tuntable Falls property, near Nightcap National Park, three days after his alleged death.

In court, the accused reaffirmed their not guilty pleas and did not heed Magistrate David Heilpern's suggestion to seek legal aid.

"I think in this situation I have to represent myself," Mr Goodchild said.

"I'm looking for a proper, just hearing."

Ms Vedda has pleaded not guilty to failing to report a death, knowingly making a false or misleading statement and resisting or hindering police. Mr Goodchild has pleaded not guilty to failing to report a death and burying human remains without authorisation

The duo will face a hearing on May 31.

Topics:  burial court editors picks ritual


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