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Partner loses battle to fulfil soul mate’s ‘dying wish’ of burial in Highgate

Leo Rahdadi with a photo of his late partner Barbara Garratt whose dying wish was to 'be buried in Highgate'. Picture: Polly Hancock Leo Rahdadi with a photo of his late partner Barbara Garratt whose dying wish was to 'be buried in Highgate'. Picture: Polly Hancock

Friday, May 16, 2014
9:00 AM

The partner of an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer who launched a High Court battle to fulfil her dying wish of being buried in Highgate, has seen his bid fail.

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Last week, the Ham&High reported how Leo Rahdadi, 54, had been left almost “powerless” in organising the final resting place of his partner of 21 years – all because her anarchist beliefs meant they never married.

He insists soul mate Barbara Garratt, who was born in a Highgate convent in 1958, had always wanted to be buried in an environmentally friendly coffin nearby.

But a relative insisted she be cremated with her ashes scattered nearer to their own home in Doncaster.

Mr Rahdadi was forced to seek an injunction in the High Court following her death on April 15.

Appearing before a judge last week, he eventually accepted a compromise which will see her buried in Doncaster.

Speaking after the decision, Mr Rahdadi said: “Barbara always said she wanted to be buried in Highgate – but she would have been horrified at the idea of being cremated.

I decided to compromise in case I lost my battle.

“I’m reluctant to do so and I’m still unhappy at how powerless I feel I was, simply because we never had a marriage certificate.”

Ms Garratt’s Alzheimer’s had also meant she had spent the past seven years in care homes, with Mr Rahdadi begging the authorities to allow him to take her home.

He says being unmarried left him in the eyes of the law as being seen as “little more than a friend”.

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