Mother of slain teen says she wasn’t invited to funeral
THE mother of an allegedly murdered teenage boy is "disgusted" after she says she wasn't invited to her son's funeral following a months-long legal battle over where he was to be buried.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for cultural reasons, died after allegedly being stabbed to death in the Bagot community last May.
His mother, Constance Puruntatameri, finally lost a court battle to have his body buried on Melville Island - his homeland - against the woman who raised him in Darwin, Rosemary Baird.
In a decision handed down on Christmas Eve, NT Criminal Court of Appeal Justices Stephen Southwood, Sonia Brownhill and Trevor Riley dismissed an appeal by Ms Puruntatameri and ruled in favour of a previous decision in favour of Ms Baird.
It comes after the Court of Appeal also rejected an application for the boy's remains to continue to be held by the coroner pending a further appeal to the High Court in Canberra in early December.
Ms Puruntatameri said her son's funeral was held in Palmerston in December and he was buried at Thorak cemetery.
"I didn't get invited, I went on my own," she said.
"I'm disgusted with them and none of them said sorry to me."
Ms Puruntatameri's daughter Nikita said burying the boy away from his homeland went against Tiwi custom.
"He doesn't have anyone there with him, he's lonely," she said.
"He has no family to guide him in the spirit world.
"In our way we put him with their family so they don't get lost in the world."
She said the court battle had been "a long mission and a very disappointing mission".
In the Court of Appeal decision, the three Justices said Ms Baird was the boy's caregiver since he was five months old and "assumed the role of mother and treated the deceased as her son".
"For all practical purposes, the respondent became and remained the mother of the deceased to the time of his death," the decision said.
Originally published as Mother of allegedly slain teen says she wasn't invited to funeral