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Mitch Winehouse says Amy Winehouse inquest controversy is 'distressing'

But late singer's father says they've been told the verdict's 'not in any doubt'

Dean Chalkley/NME
Pic: Dean Chalkley/NME
Mitch Winehouse has said that the controversy surrounding the inquest into his late daughter Amy Winehouse's death is "distressing".

It was reported yesterday (February 2) that the singer's family were seeking advice after it emerged that the inquest into the 'Back To Black' singer's death could be declared to be "illegal", after rules appeared to have been broken in the appointment of the inquest's coroners.

The inquest recorded in late 2011 that Winehouse 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, Greenaway subsequently confirmed that she had resigned in November after it was discovered that she did not match the requirements which govern the appointment of coroners, meaning that potentially each of the 30 inquests she has overseen could be declared illegal.

Speaking about the news, Mitch told the Sun:
We were very shocked when we were informed that the coroner was not suitably qualified. It's hard to believe her credentials weren't fully checked. You'd assume this sort of thing can't happen.

He went on to say that he and his family had been told that Greenaway's resignation doesn't necessarily mean that the inquiry will be re-opened, however. "We've been informed the coroner was taking guidance from more experience professionals and the verdict doesn't appear to be in any doubt, but it's upsetting to have to go through all this again," he said. "We just hope that matters can be resolved soon."

According to UK law, Greenaway should only have been appointed in her position 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 does not possess.

Speaking about the issue, 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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