February 1, 2012 8:48

Amy Winehouse inquest could be declared 'illegal'

A mix-up in the appointment of coroners could be mean that the inquest is declared null and void

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The inquest into the death of Amy Winehouse could be declared to be "illegal" after rules appear to have been broken in the appointment of the inquest's coroners.

The inquest recorded in late 2011 that the 'Back To Black' singer had died as a result of 'misadventure' and was chaired by Inner North London Coroner Dr Andrew Scott Reid. In the process of dealing with the case, Reid appointed his wife Suzanne Greenaway to the role of Assistant Deputy Coroner.

However, according to reports in The Sun today (February 1), Greenaway confirmed that she had resigned in November after it was discovered that she did not match the requirements which govern the appointment of coroners.

According to UK law, Greenaway could only be appointed if she had been in the Law Society as a solicitor for at least five years, but she only joined two-and-a-half years ago. The law also states that you must have five years as a "qualified medical practitioner", which she also does not possess.

This means that potentially each of the 30 inquests Greenaway has overseen could be declared illegal, but would have to be challenged in the high court to do so.

Speaking about this last night, Dr Scott Reid said: "In November it became apparent I'd made an error in the appointment process. While I am confident that all of the inquests handled were done so correctly, I apologise if this matter causes distress."

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