Heavenly bodies! Church volunteer accused of dismembering bodies by police – before officers realised they were christmas nativity mannequins
By Dan Coles
A retired church volunteer was left red-faced when police became concerned she was DISMEMBERING BODIES at home – when she was in fact using life-sized mannequins to create a religious nativity display.
Pensioner Maureen Wall, 71, was shocked when she was forced to answer uncomfortable questions from an officer on her doorstep in Bulwell, Nottingham, when cops spotted the bizarre plastic limbs in her home.
The former foster carer spent four months painstakingly putting together the display for St John the Divine Church in Bulwell after buying the seven life-sized mannequins for £30 each.
Aside from her mistaken brush with the law, on another occasion a window cleaner refused to enter her garden because he thought there were two naked men there.
Grandma-of-one Maureen said: “A lovely police officer carrying out door to door enquiries knocked on my door.
“But you could see the mannequin in the back of my house – and she looked very interested at what she could see on my kitchen table.
“She was shocked, but relieved when she realised what it was.
“I opened my washroom and showed her three more fake bodies stood up waiting to join the display.
“She said nobody as the police station would ever believe her.
“A few weeks later, my cleaner said he had just seen two naked men hovering around in my garden.
“I invite him in and explained what they were, he said they would work as great deterrents for anyone who might want to break into the house.
“He felt foolish, walking out with his tail between his legs.”
Maureen cooked up the plan for the updated nativity display for her church with vicar David Grey, 59, and his wife Jo.
She, David and Jo spent four months putting the display together with Maureen’s sister Margaret Smetton, 63, spending two days setting up the display after the pieces were finished.
The display will be open all through the Christmas period for anyone who wants to view it.
Maureen said: “I’ve been coming to this church for 45 years.
“The display used to be done with cardboard but after a little while they would just fall to pieces.
“We had the idea to use mannequins, as we needed something more life size.
“We had heard a place in Newark was selling old mannequins.
“They cost us about £30 each, we bought seven in total with an extra half body just in case.”
“My sister did a fabulous job, she brought the mannequins to life.
“Margaret is the most wonderful artist, and we have had no formal training.”