Mum left in the dark on son’s death in Portugal

Witney Gazette: Eileen Brown Eileen Brown

A MOTHER has been told she may have to wait six months to find out how her son died after his body was found in a Portuguese resort two weeks ago.

Geoffrey Brown, a 53-year-old from Eynsham, had worked as a chef for Ruis Bar in tourist hotspot Vilamoura, where he had lived for 15 years.

But when he did not turn up for work on Thursday, June 12, friends became worried.

The next day police forced their way into his flat, where they discovered Mr Brown’s body.

His family claim they have been told little about the circumstances of his death and were only told on Wednesday that he would be buried tomorrow at 10am.

His 47-year-old brother Philip, who lives in Abingdon, will fly there today with his wife to represent the family at the funeral.

Mother-of-three Eileen Brown, who is widowed and lives in Hanborough Road in Eynsham, said the experience had been “horrendous”.

The 82-year-old said: “First we were told we could repatriate his body. Then that he was going to be cremated, but now they have said he will be buried there.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said it is providing consular assistance over the death.

Witney Gazette:

Geoffrey Brown

The family originally arranged with Croydon-based funeral directors Rowland Brothers to have Mr Brown’s body flown back to the UK.

But for reasons which Mrs Brown said remain unclear, the Portuguese authorities have now said he must be buried in Portugal.

It is the second child she has lost, after her daughter Georgina was killed in a road accident while driving through Thatcham, near Reading, aged 22, in 1982.

Mrs Brown said: “I feel like we have been treated horribly throughout this. We have barely been told anything, except that we may have to wait six months to find out how Geoffrey died.

“It just seems so wrong.

“People need to know how difficult it can be to repatriate bodies. It has just been horrendous. And it still will be until my son has got back and explained everything to me.”

Mr Brown lived alone in a small apartment, his mother said. He grew up in Eynsham and was a former pupil at Bartholomew School, before going on to train as a chef at St John’s College, Oxford.

He had been on holiday in Portugal 15 years ago, while working for a hotel in Eynsham, when he called her to say he would be staying to help run a restaurant.

Mrs Brown, whose husband George died aged 83 in 2010, said: “Geoffrey rang me at least once a fortnight and would always come home for Christmas. He had friends in Portugal, and there was even talk that he might marry someone there at one point.”

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