Police kept body parts of 90 children and babies
Body parts from nearly 90 children were secretly kept by police, a BBC investigation has revealed.
Last year a national audit found that nearly 500 body parts were kept by police without permission from relatives. The new investigation revealed large numbers of these belonged to children
One mother whose baby son died of a heart defect told the BBC how police turned up at her house to tell her they had kept his brain in storage for 13 years.
Hannah Cheevers said two officers knocked on her door "totally out of the blue" to admit that Rhys' brain had been held at Southampton hospital.
The baby boy had died aged just two days in 1998 and his family gave consent for a post-mortem examination to take place but they "assumed he had been buried in tact".
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We had his funeral, we got on with our lives as you have to and 13 years later we have a knock on the door from the Dorset police to inform us that his brain has been retained at Southampton hospital."
Ms Cheevers said she was shocked and "did not know really how to take it".
"We assumed he had been buried in tact," she added. "We had absolutely no idea that they had kept his brain."
Police told her that Rhys' brain had been kept in storage untouched but could not tell her why.
Ms Cheevers said they have decided to donate his brain to hospital research after being told the other two options were to have it destroyed or buried with his body.
"I didn't want another funeral. I've got other children now. It's a difficult thing to talk about and I didn't want to have to explain to my young children why we had to have a funeral.
"And, I didn't really want him dug up to have his brain put with him. I just don't like the thought of having a child dug up after they have been buried for 13 years."
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
Heathrow airport reopens runways after British Airways plane 'on fire over London' makes emergency landing
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.